Early and rapid globalization as part of innovation and growth strategies: towards a framework supporting the global start of new technology firms

Erik Zijdemans, Zohreh Azimi, Stoyan Tanev, Tony Bailetti

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review


This paper emphasizes the role of early and rapid globalization of technology start-ups as part of their innovation and growth strategies. It suggests a framework linking the ex-ante value of new technology firms and the ex-post characteristics of born global (BG) firms. We were inspired by Knight and Cavusgil (2004), who suggested that “internationalization is an innovative act in itself, and born-global firms are particularly innovative in this regard.” Conceptualizing the ability of firms to internationalize early as part of their innovation capacity offers the opportunity to explore the global start of technology start-ups as a specific growth strategy (Zijdemans & Tanev, 2014). Our research adopts a dynamic resource perspective according to which the distinction between ex-ante and ex-post value of resources (Schmidt & Keil, 2012) complements the effectual entrepreneurial approach, which is typical for start-ups that globalize rapidly in an environment with a high degree of uncertainty (Sarasvathy, Kumar, York, & Bhagavatula, 2014). The ex-ante valuation of resources (Schmidt & Keil, 2012) is related to the ex-post characteristics of BG firms (Tanev, 2012) resulting in a Global Value Generator (GVG) – a framework linking the ex-ante value drivers and ex-post characteristics of BG firms. Our aim is to use the GVG to help innovative start-ups in making strategic ex-ante decisions contributing to the development of competitive global business models, complementary global resources and differentiated value propositions (Bailetti & Zijdemans, 2014). The GVG was tested empirically through its application to 12 cybersecurity start-ups in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Additionally, the applicability of the GVG was validated by an in depth case study of a business development agency focusing on supporting the global start of newly created technology firms. The preliminary results indicate that business development agencies currently do not actively or efficiently support the global start of new firms. They need however appropriate tools and mechanisms that would help them developing such capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventR&D Management Conference 2015: "(Fast?) Connecting R&D" - Istituto di Management, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Denmark
Duration: 23. Jun 201526. Jun 2015


ConferenceR&D Management Conference 2015
LocationIstituto di Management, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna



  • global start
  • dynamic resource-based view
  • ex ante resource value
  • born global firm
  • new technology firm

Cite this

Zijdemans, E., Azimi, Z., Tanev, S., & Bailetti, T. (2015). Early and rapid globalization as part of innovation and growth strategies: towards a framework supporting the global start of new technology firms. Paper presented at R&D Management Conference 2015, Pisa, Denmark.