Imperial College London

Professor Erkko Autio FBA

Business School

Chair in Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship



+44 (0)20 7594 1991erkko.autio CV




Ms Rachel Jury +44 (0)20 7594 5926




388Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Professor Erkko Autio FBA is Chair in Technology Venturing and Entrepreneurship  at Imperial College London Business School. At the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, he directed the Diffusion of Innovation theme and was a Co-Investigator in the Digital City Exchange project. He also served at the Senate of Imperial College and in the Research Committee of ICBS. He was a founder of the Energy Business Laboratory of ICBS and directed ICBS Doctoral Programme for 7 years until 2015.

Currently Erkko is working on two new and exciting initiatives. One is the EntResilience project, which explores entrepreneurial resilience in the face of the covid-19 pandemic. The other one is the Wicked Acceleration Lab, a joint initiative between the Imperial College Business School and Royal College of Arts that develops methods for Wicked Acceleration, Deep Tech Acceleration and Moonshot Acceleration.

Erkko's work has been cited over 47 000 times. His Google Scholar profile can be found here.

Erkko was a co-founder of the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute and co-author of the Global Entrepreneurship Index and the EU Regional Entrepreneurship Index. He was also a founding team member of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor GEM initiative -- the World's largest ongoing research consortium in social sciences that has been running since 1997.

Erkko has conducted pioneering research in the areas of comparative entrepreneurship, international entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurial  ecosystems, business model innovation, and digital transformation. His research has been cited in hundreds of news media in over 80 countries (including The Economist, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, CNN, MSBNC, among others); in over 40 000 academic publications (Google Scholar), and his research has been recognised in the form of numerous best paper awards and similar recognitions. He was recognised as one of the 50 most influential management scholars globally in terms of research impact (Aguinis et al, 2012).

His current research interests are in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship policy, entrepreneurial ecosystems, innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurial resilience, wicked acceleration, business model innovation and innovation from Big Science.

Following his Doctorate at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), he held a number of academic roles, including professor and director of the Institute of Strategy and International Business at HUT in 1999, Visiting Professor at CERN in 2001 and Professor at HEC Université de Lausanne in 2003, before taking up his current position at ICBS in 2006.

Erkko Autio has been a founder, non-executive director and advisory board member of a number of technology-based ventures and venture funds, and he has worked widely with industry and government in Europe and Asia. He has advised the European Commissioner for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and he chaired the Europe Innova Expert Panel on ‘Gazelle’ Policy from 2006 to 2008. In 2016 he advised EU DG GROWTH on a shift towards an entrepreneurial ecosystems policy.

Four technology ventures started by his students have been listed in Europe’s ‘100 Hottest Technology Ventures’ list, While at Helsinki University of Technology, over a period of 15 years, he was closely involved in launching and developing the Otaniemi Science Park – Innopoli complex, the largest science park in the Scandinavian countries. Combined, new businesses founded by his students have created several billions of Euro of new market value.

Erkko serves and has served in numerous journal editorial advisory boards, including Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, and Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice. His research has been published in Academy of Management JournalAcademy of Management ReviewStrategic Management JournalStrategic Entrepreneurship JournalJournal of International Business StudiesStrategic OrganizationResearch PolicyMcKinsey QuarterlyJournal of Management StudiesJournal of Business VenturingSmall Business Economics, among others.

His doctoral students have received numerous awards for research excellence, including two ‘Best PhD Thesis’ awards by the Academy of Management. His doctoral students have been placed in faculty positions in universities such as the University of Southern California, EM Lyon Business School, Warwick Business School, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Imperial College Business School, University of Zurich, University of Chigago, Aalto University, Minnesota Institute of Technology, among others. Erkko is himself also a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 American Marketing Association’s Gerry Hill Award for an article that has significantly influenced entrepreneurship and marketing research over the previous decade.

In Fall 2015 he was voted by a web-based technology practitioner community to the list of top 100 entrepreneurship professors who have influenced venturing practice worldwide.

Erkko was elected as Fellow of the British Academy in 2019.

He enjoys disc golf, running, tennis, skiing, has read more than seven metres of books on Roman history, can list Roman emperors well into the fourth century AD, and he has perfected a recipe for seafood pasta in almost weekly iterations over the past ten years -- and his family still agrees to eat it!

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Dattee B, Alexy O, Autio ET, 2018, Maneuvering in poor visibility: how firms play the ecosystem game when uncertainty is high, Academy of Management Journal, Vol:61, ISSN:0001-4273, Pages:466-498

Autio ET, Nambisan S, Thomas L, et al., 2018, Digital affordances, spatial affordances, and the genesis of entrepreneurial ecosystems, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol:12, ISSN:1932-443X, Pages:72-95

Autio ET, 2017, Strategic entrepreneurial internationalization: a normative framework, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol:11, ISSN:1932-443X, Pages:211-227

Autio ET, Rannikko H, 2016, Retaining winners: Can policy boost high-growth entrepreneurship?, Research Policy, Vol:45, ISSN:0048-7333, Pages:42-55

Autio E, Fu K, 2015, Economic and political institutions and entry into formal and informal entrepreneurship, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol:32, ISSN:0217-4561, Pages:67-94

Thomas LDW, Autio E, Gann DM, 2014, Architectural leverage: putting platforms in context, The Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol:28, ISSN:1079-5545, Pages:198-219

Acs ZJ, Autio E, Szerb L, 2014, National Systems of Entrepreneurship: Measurement issues and policy implications, Research Policy, Vol:43, ISSN:0048-7333, Pages:476-494

Autio E, Pahtak S, Wennberg K, 2013, Consequences of cultural practices for entrepreneurial behaviors, Journal of International Business Studies, Pages:334-362

Autio E, Dahlander L, Frederiksen L, 2013, Information exposure, opportunity evaluation and entrepreneurial action: An empirical investigation of an online user community, Academy of Management Journal, Vol:n/a, ISSN:0001-4273

Levie J, Autio E, 2011, Regulatory Burden, Rule of Law, and Entry of Strategic Entrepreneurs: An International Panel Study, Journal of Management Studies, Vol:48, ISSN:0022-2380, Pages:1392-1419

Autio E, George G, Alexy O, 2011, International Entrepreneurship and Capability Development—Qualitative Evidence and Future Research Directions, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol:35, ISSN:1540-6520, Pages:11-37

Autio E, Acs Z, 2010, Intellectual property protection and the formation of entrepreneurial growth aspirations (forthcoming), Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol:4, Pages:234-251


Acs ZJ, Szerb L, Autio E, 2013, Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index 2013, London, Edward Elgar, ISBN:978 1 84980 844 6

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