Like Clockwork: Experts and Expertise in Stockholm’s Startup and Innovation Ecosystem
SthlmTech, Stockholm’s startup ecosystem, is famous for being an innovation hub that produces more billion-dollar startups per capita than anywhere else except Silicon Valley. This success, people within the community say, is down to the ecosystem of organizations and experts that facilitate the creation and growth of startups via a well-organized curriculum that guides entrepreneurs through the “business” of starting-up. In this article, I examine this understanding of the ecosystem as a neutral, smooth, and ordered apparatus for maximizing the speed and efficiency of innovation. Specifically, I challenge how this popular conception of the ecosystem conceptualizes expertise and experts as mechanistic components ready to be deployed along the path of entrepreneurs training. By analyzing the expertise of ecosystem experts in practice, this paper aims to demonstrate what the ecosystem curriculum foregrounds and what it obscures and how the ideas behind this curriculum shape much more than routine business procedure.
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