Is there a path from sin city to tech city? The case for Las Vegas


Many cities aspire to have vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems that are 5 relevant to the digital economy—can they? To answer the question, we examine the economic history of Las Vegas, a land of gambling and entertainment, and report the recent entrepreneurial activities in the city along with the data that measures the 8 vibrancy of the ecosystem and growth of the place. While there is no indication that  the various data points converge, our analysis leads us to three insights. One, legacy industry is disconnected from the new tech hub in an entrepreneurship ecosystem  when the economy has shifted from the ‘Main street’ mode to the ‘digital’ mode.  Two, while there are two recent success stories of Zappos and Switch SUPERNAP in Las Vegas, entrepreneurship activities remain moderate in spite of a bottom-up  effort to build Downtown as a tech hub. Three, cluster advantages and positive network externalities do not seem to happen in unrelated industry in Las Vegas

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Book Chapter
Brian Sloboda
Fiona Sussan
Richard Hall
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
In Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Springer International Publishing AG
Date Published: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Publication Language: 
Allan O'Connor (Editor), Erik Stam (Editor), Fiona Sussan (Editor), David B. Audretsch (Editor)

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