Digitalization leads to a wider availability and use of digital technologies in our society. It goes hand-in-hand with more people, being able to utilize and develop digital systems. Digital entrepreneurs perceive opportunities because of their abilities and technological competences early and have the capacity to create novel solutions in larger solution spaces. Their entrepreneurial mindset enables the innovation products, processes, and business models.
Professor Rothe: Research on Digital Entrepreneurship in Smart Services
Professor Rothe is interested in activities and support structures of digital entrepreneurs. We research the entrepereneurial development of systems within organizations, such as business-managed or shadow systems (e.g., Fürstenau & Rothe 2014; Fürstenau, Rothe, & Sandner, 2017). However, processes applying digital technologies are less limited to organizational boundaries. Especially, because they rightfully make use of cloud- and platform-structures. To thoroughly explore and research such environments, we need to change the view from an individual- or company-level towards ecosystems (e.g., Rothe & Steier, 2016). In such ecosystems, we find the mechanisms explaining the rise and fall of entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. This is particularly relevant for services, that make use of the most basic resource of digitalization - data. Many new ventures are created on the basis of collecting, analyzing, and utiziling data. Such data-intensive (or smart service systems) arise in the net economy–see for instance programmatic advertising (Rothe & Wicke, 2017)–as well as in the old economy–e.g., educational sector (Rothe, 2016).
From health services, over chemical processes and digital publishing to programmatic advertising - digital technologies change our personal and professional life.This change is enabled by entrepreneurs who take the opportunities of newly arising ecosystems. Professor Rothe founded the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub together with Professor Gersch to create an institution that binds activities of entreprneneurship education and research together.
In January 2013, Freie Universität Berlin together with Charité Universitätsmedizin successfully acquired EUR 2.8 millions from the BMWi for their concept of the “Entrepreneurial Network University” (ENU). A central concern of ENU was a resign of the university-wide „Entrepreneurship Education“ towards supporting more master and PhD students. Professor Rothe coordinated the working group from 2013 to 2018. In this timespan, more than 65 elements of teaching material have been developed, and about 270 educational components were collected on a newly developed platform. This Entrepreneurship teaching exchange platform (E-LAP) was a joint development with Professor Tolksdorf, from the department of mathematics and computer science.