Barriers for production innovation in small and medium technology-based firms in Brazil
This study aims to identify the main barriers to product innovation in small and medium technology based companies in Brazil. The innovation process and its obstacles are analyzed, by interviewing several agents involved in the process, including entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and managers of business incubators. The analyses compare two points of view, from the entrepreneurs and investors. As main findings, we found: (i) difficulties concerning legal barriers, costs and availability of capital; (ii) the lack of investors for advanced steps of the development and scarcity of exit modes, raising the investment cycles compared to international averages; (iii) the investors participation close to the entrepreneurs in the business management; (iv) the difficulty to find technical and management qualified professionals to engage in new and uncertain businesses; (v) cultural aversion to risks, inducing both the entrepreneurs as the investors to be more conservative in the decision making, and (vi) sense of good perspectives for tthe future, tied to the capital availability. As contributions, this research allows to understand the scenario where innovative entrepreneurship happens, as well as the issues that slow down or cause failure in the process. Understanding these issues is the first step to address them systematically. Entrepreneurs that have this information can plan ahead and take measures to accelerate innovation in their businesses. Investors that are willing to support early stage businesses, and knowing the obstacles in this environment, will provide them with better chances to act and mitigate risks of failure in their investments portfolio.