I conducted an ethnography of internet entrepreneurs building startups in Mexico. I selected this case as representative of how people engage in technology innovation in middle-income countries. The number of communities of internet entrepreneurs building startups in these countries is exploding, empowered by social media, cloud technologies, and new software frameworks and methodologies. However, while entrepreneurs in the main centers of innovation, such as Silicon Valley, have crucial social, cultural, economic, and material resources to build high-impact startups, these resources are often not present in middle-income countries. I define those resources as innovation infrastructures, stable and dependable resources necessary to systematically conduct technology innovation activities. Entrepreneurs in middle-income countries have a double challenge of excelling at their startups, and creating innovation infrastructures. Mexican entrepreneurs worked as a community to build innovation infrastructures such as technical and entrepreneurship interest groups, learning and networking events, and diverse social media applications to connect with local and global networks of innovation. Combining these infrastructures, this community set off key learning processes to build a stronger startup culture in their country. I used a participant-observer approach, following entrepreneurs across a variety of online and offline locales. To understand the practice of building innovation infrastructures, I helped organize events and spaces to promote the startup culture in Mexico. My findings contribute to understanding technology innovation activities in middle-income countries, explaining how innovation infrastructures initiate key learning processes to create a strong startup culture. The understanding of these infrastructures provides a solid empirical foundation for designing technologies, initiatives, and policies to cultivate new innovation communities in new places and contexts.
|Commitee:||Tang, John C., Venkatesh, Alladi|
|School:||University of California, Irvine|
|Department:||Information and Computer Science - Ph.D.|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Entrepreneurship, Multimedia Communications, Information science|
|Keywords:||CSCW, Ethnography, Informatics, Innovation, Internet, Mexico, Startups|
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