UCL School of Management

Research seminar

Identifying Entrepreneurial Opportunities


Wednesday, 5 November 2014
11:00 – 12:30
Executive Education Suite, Engineering Front Building, Malet Place, WC1E 7JE

Research on entrepreneurship has burgeoned in recent years.  However, our understanding of how people identify opportunities – a critical first step in the entrepreneurial process – remains relatively limited.  In this talk I will discuss my dissertation, which develops a model of opportunity identification based on the concept of distinction-making.  Distinction-making refers to the process of creating and refining new cognitive categories, and I argue that this is a key mechanism that facilitates the identification of new opportunities in two ways.  First, distinction-making aids the generation of ideas for new and potentially valuable technologies.  Second, distinction-making engenders more fine-grained perceptions of potential markets in which those technologies can be applied.  As a result of these two processes, I argue that distinction-making enables people to identify “fit” between technologies and markets, a hallmark of opportunity identification.  I test these predictions using a two study multi-method design including qualitative interviews with nascent entrepreneurs and controlled laboratory experiments.

Last updated Tuesday, 25 November 2014