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INTERNATIONALIZATION STRATEGIES OF TECHNOLOGY-BASED FIRMS FROM EMERGENT ECONOMIES  
RICARDO ARECHAVALA-VARGAS CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico arechavala@alumni.stanford.edu BERNARDO JAÉN-JIMÉNEZ CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico bjajim@hotmail.com BERTA E. MADRIGAL-TORRES CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico agenda.madrigal@gmail.com

Abstract
Internationalization of firms from emerging economies has attracted significant interest in the research literature, although it has been mainly directed towards multi-national corporations (MNC’s), noting that their internationalization processes tend to be different from those of MNC’s from industralised economies. Most of these big firms have acquired their current size and success levels due to merger and acquisition strategies. However, there is also a growing trend among small and medium enterprises from emergent economies, in which they very quickly undergo accelerated internationalization processes. Little research has been carried out on the technological strategies and behaviours that firms from emergent economies deploy when entering international markets. Entrepreneurs from emerging economies used to rely on traditional knowledge and business models when initiating their enterprises. Particularly in Latin America, lack of international experience, and lack of technological knowledge, have had a strong impact on the business models and strategies available to entrepreneurs. In the last decade, however, a growing number of start-up firms from emerging economies are entering international markets on the basis of stronger technological assets, and are finding opportunities by being highly creative in their business models, frequently relying in resources that lie in the networks they build, rather than undertaking internationalization processes on their own. We present results from a case study research project that aims to understand the processes through which entrepreneurs from Latin American economies search, identify, and take advantage of opportunities in international markets, competing against firms that have access to considerably more technological resources and capital. We use a grounded theory approach in order to map the ways in which entrepreneurs search for technology-based economic opportunities, and the ways in which they build and adapt their business models in order to compete internationally. We use case studies and in-depth interviews from twenty technologybased firms from several industries: veterinary pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food supplements, and embedded systems, in order to develop a model of these processes. Our results provide an important step in the process of modeling entrepreneurial technologybased business models from emerging technologies, and a mapping of the technological space

in which they search for opportunities in order to enter and compete in international markets. We explicitly link these contributions to the research literature that addresses born-global firms and technology-based firms from emergent economies, as this growing trend calls for a better understanding of the processes involved. Keywords: International entrepreneurship, technology-based firms, emergent economies, business model, networks, born-global firms.

Technology-based Firms from Emerging Economies: A New Actor in Global Markets Internationalization of firms from emerging economies has attracted significant interest in the research literature, although it has been mainly directed towards multi-national corporations (MNC’s) (Guillén & García-Canal, 2009; Jormanainen & Koveshnikov, 2012; Yamakawa, Peng, & Deeds, 2008), noting that their internationalization processes tend to be different from those of MNC’s from industrialized economies. Most of these big firms have acquired their current size and success levels due to merger and acquisition strategies (Aulakh, Kotabe, & Teegen, 2000, Vargas 2011), and by exploiting strategic...
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