Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Lisbon as a Smart Start-Up City

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Lisbon as a Smart Start-Up City

Luísa Cagica Carvalho (Universidade Aberta, Portugal & CEFAGE -Universidade de Évora, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1978-2.ch001
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Regional development is founded on creative and dynamic territories, where several partners collaborate to create ideal conditions to improve life living, business, job creation and regional competitiveness. Smart cities use networks to promote economic and political efficiency and to allow social, cultural and urban development. These regions present high standards respecting some indicators associated with, innovation, creativity, environment, life quality, entrepreneurial activities and support facilities. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are an important dimension for a region or city to become smart. These entrepreneurial ecosystems emerge as a compromise to foster entrepreneurship and economic development in a regional context. This chapter has two folds. Firstly, it aims to the discussion of core concepts, such as, smart city and how to define an entrepreneurial ecosystem. It also aims to its features, to understand if an entrepreneurial ecosystem is born or made and it pretends to show an example of a smart start-up city, which is the case of Lisbon.
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Smart Cities: Looking For A Definition

There isn’t any universal definition accepted for “smart city” and some authors registered a ‘lack of definitorial precision” (Hollands, 2008). It is also relevant to note that cities use this discrepancy and try self-defining themselves as a smart city (Hollands, 2008; Caragliu et al., 2011; Tranos and Gertner, 2012). Early research about smart cities proposes that they are “an urban center for the future, made safe, environmentally friendly, green and efficient because of its structure – whether for power, water, transportation, etc. they are designed, built and maintained making use of advanced and integrated materials, sensors, electronics, and networks which are interfaced with computerized systems” (Hall, 2000, p. 1). Some years later Komninos (2006) associated the definition of smart city with knowledge and learning, highlighting their potential to knowledge creation using digital infrastructures. Smart cities are “Territories with high capacity for learning and innovation, which are built on the creativity of their population, their institutions of knowledge creation, and their digital infrastructures for communication and knowledge management” (Komninos, 2006, p.6). Giffinger et al. (2007, p.11) correlated smart cities with six characteristics, built on the smart combinations of endowments (a smart economy; smart mobility; smart environment; smart people; smart living; and, smart governance).

Cosgrave et al. (2013, p. 669) suggested some reasons why effective smart city implementation models are yet to be realized, such as:

  • Concepts are still on their infancy, and the discussion has previously focused on the technology rather than the conceptual grounding or implementation methods.

  • The complex nature of a city itself, which is an enormously complex and open-ended system, with many intertwining force fields influencing its form simultaneously (Sevtshuk & Beinart, 2005).

  • There are multiple unknown factors when dealing with the future.

  • Funding mechanisms have restricted investment capability.

  • The long-term implications are still unknown.

Hollands (2008) focused his proposal for smart cities on the utilization of networks to promote economic and political efficiency and to allow social, cultural and urban development. Caragliu et al. (2011) proposed that for a city to become smart, it must invest on human and social capital, traditional (transport) and modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), communication infrastructure, fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a careful management of natural resources, through a participatory governance.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Smart City: A smart regional ecosystem that includes several partners and stakeholders interconnected. They develop collaborative networks (firms, citizens, public organizations, cultural, economic and social infrastructure) to create an open and creative environment useful to live and to develop smart and innovative businesses and social projects. These regions present high standards attending to some indicators associated with innovation, creativity, environment, life quality, entrepreneurial activities and support infrastructures.

Living Lab: Promoting an open and collaborative approach, a networked ecosystem of actors and stakeholders, relationships and resources, actions and initiatives to assist potential entrepreneurs and companies in cultivating innovative ideas and entrepreneurial projects as well as enhancing entrepreneurial competencies and attitudes.

Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present human beings, without compromising future generations to meet their own needs.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: A set of interconnected entrepreneurial actors (both potential and existing), organisations (e.g. firms, venture capitalists, business angels and banks), institutions (universities, public sector agencies and financial bodies), and processes (business birth rate, rate of HGFs, number of serial entrepreneurs and blockbuster entrepreneurs, and levels of entrepreneurial ambition and sell-out mentality in the society).

ICT: Information and Communication Technologies is an extended term for information technology (IT).

Start-Up: A company that is in the first stage of its operations.

Regional Development: The provision of aid or assistance to less economically prosperous areas.

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