- Digital start-ups
- Digital knowledge spillovers
- Digital skill endowment
- Knowledge Spillover Theory of Entrepreneurship
Abstract Building on the Knowledge Spillover Theory of Entrepreneurship (KSTE) and the Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (DEE) approach, this paper investigates the relationship between the local availability of digital knowledge (i.e., digital knowledge spillovers and digital skill endowment) and the creation of digital innovative start-ups in Italian NUTS3 regions. The obtained results show that both elements are significant for the creation of digital innovative start-ups at the province level, and a two-fold contribution has been made: from a theory perspective, an extension of KSTE to digital settings has been used to assess the relevance of geographical issues, while, from a DEE perspective, the study contributes by empirically analyzing the specific characteristics of the local ecosystem that can affect the creation of digital innovative start-ups. Finally, we discuss the implications for entrepreneurship and technology policy at the local level.