This article studies entrepreneurial activities emerging out of one of Germany's most prominent dot.com firms: Intershop, a maker of e-commerce software. We show that Intershop spawned at least 30 spin-offs. The majority entered locally, giving rise to a small but growing software cluster and counteracting the job losses accompanying the parent firm's drastic downsizing after 2000. We trace the knowledge transfer from Intershop to the spin-offs and relate it to recent theorizing on the spin-off process as well as spin-off-based cluster formation. The Intershop case suggests that temporarily successful dot.coms could exert lasting effects on regional development.
spin-offs serial entrepreneurship industry agglomeration software industry