Technological entrepreneurship, intellectually speaking, means the mechanics or techniques of ‘making business sense’ of old technologies and new technological innovations. New commercial values are generated from old technologies through incremental technological innovations. Radical innovations generate commercial values from scientific inventions and discoveries. Radical innovations also transform laboratory solutions into commercial solutions that directly inform the development of products and services. In a nutshell, technological entrepreneurship is viewed as the process of re-generating commercial value from old technologies and exploiting scientific inventions and discoveries for the benefit of humanity through applications of sound business principles.

Technological entrepreneurship, intellectually speaking, means the mechanics or techniques of ‘making business sense’ of old technologies and new technological innovations. New commercial values are generated from old technologies through incremental technological innovations. Radical innovations generate commercial values from scientific inventions and discoveries. Radical innovations also transform laboratory solutions into commercial solutions that directly inform the development of products and services. In a nutshell, technological entrepreneurship is viewed as the process of re-generating commercial value from old technologies and exploiting scientific inventions and discoveries for the benefit of humanity through applications of sound business principles.

The competitive convergence of technological capital, financial capital and human capital forms the basis of business enterprise formation. Technological entrepreneurship transforms potential economic values in a society into tradable commercial values for the market place. A cluster of technology start-ups leads to industrial clusters, which in turn can lead to the formation of an industrial empire.

Technological innovations create commercial values in a business environment and, by extension, generate economic and social change. Business is a mechanism of social change. Technological entrepreneurs are the visionaries of the modern technology business. They consistently challenge the society to re-invent itself. The industrial empires builders like Henry Ford with the automobile, Andrew Carnegie with steel production, Bill Gates with software, Steve Jobs with computers and many others were practical people with a strong business sense of purpose. Finding profitable and competitive solutions to technological business problems is the mainstay of technological entrepreneurship.

Trends in wealth creation

Since the emergence of Silicon Valley in the 1980s, it has become more evident that the future of global business will be driven by innovations in technology, entrepreneurial financing and market innovations. The future of the global economy lies in the competitive application of technological capital, financial capital and skilled human capital. The business of wealth creation is the act of solving societal economic and social problems. The mainstay of technological entrepreneurship is to find solutions to the problems using business principles through cost-effective allocation of resources (technological, financial and human) and entrepreneurial management.

It is important to note that internationally the highest growth areas in the global economy spectrum are in manufacturing and technology-intensive services. More wealth creation is likely to be generated in technology-intensive industries than any other sector. Engineers and technologists are the highest generators of intellectual capital, per capita in any economically competitive country. It is evident that technology and human intellectual capital are increasingly the most democratic and empowering instruments of wealth creation and distribution. Money moves around the world looking for the best business ideas, the most innovative technologies, the most knowledgeable and productive labour and the cheapest prices. Stated in another way, capital flows towards competitive research and innovations. Competitive research attracts the best brains. The best brains innovate and create new products and services. Therefore, the road to industrialisation is paved by technological entrepreneurship. The world’s attention is now focused on technological entrepreneurship as the linchpin of industrialization and economic development.

The geography of wealth creation processes

In the continuum of professional endeavours, technological entrepreneurship is leading in the creation and distribution of the global wealth. The new breeding grounds for future billionaires are nanotechnology, biotechnology, and quantum computers and ICT-interface industries. Innovative disciplines like financial engineering are helping investors evaluate transient risks in the financial markets. Techno-financial models are the latest tools used in analysing the viability of new technology-intensive ventures. New branches of bio-engineering such as tissue engineering, body engineering and applications of nanotechnology in medicine will not only determine the health of nations, but also the wealth of nations.
In the near future, nanotechnology drug particles could be designed to release therapeutic molecules in the body only after reaching the targeted, diseased tissue. It makes business sense for medicine to employ directed nanostructures systems to improve the tissue compatibility of implants, to create scaffolds for tissue regeneration such as that used in skin farming (manufacturing) in labs, or in building biological scaffolding structures for the manufacture of artificial organs.

Recent studies show that products incorporating nanotech mechanics contributed approximately US$ 1 trillion to the global economy in 2015. Approximately two million workers were employed in nanotech industries and three out of four workers were providing support jobs in peripheral industries.

Technological entrepreneurship is the professional endeavour which will be most instrumental in the economic development of our era and the 21st century. The world’s wealth landscape is changing rapidly – from inherited wealth to competitive wealth – and is backed by scientific knowledge, technological innovations and technological entrepreneurship.  

About the Author
Professor Kachieng’a is an Electrical Engineer, Financial Engineering Consultant and a Professor of Technological Entrepreneurship based at Watson Corporate Academy in Johannesburg.

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