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From hackers to start-ups: Innovation commons and local entrepreneurial activity

In hacker communities, tech-savvy pioneers collect and share information on nascent technologies. The pool of information shared among users reduces uncertainty about digital technology, but, first and foremost, it reveals entrepreneurial opportunities to users in the community, which is a central tenet of innovation commons theory. In this paper, we are first to explore the role of local hackerspaces for digital entrepreneurship in German counties using cross-sectional time series data. We find that longer-lasting hackerspaces are strongly correlated with the level of digital entrepreneurship in regions, particularly in agglomerations and urban contexts.

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