Wouter Stam appointed Professor of Entrepreneurship

On January 15 Wouter Stam has been appointed Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Economics and Business at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research focuses on innovative entrepreneurship and in particular the strategic issues surrounding the creation and growth of new businesses.

01/21/2016 | 11:10 AM

With his chair Stam wants to provide new insights into the factors that determine the viability of new businesses in emerging markets.


Stam, Wouter"Entrepreneurship in new sectors offer a high economic potential, but are also accompanied by great uncertainty and little chance of survival for entrepreneurs. For instance in the markets for drones or 3D printers, entrepreneurs are faced with competing technologies, poor regulation and unproven business models that threaten their survival. " The insights from this chair are valuable for both managers and policy makers, and will be distributed to a wide audience through scientific publications and applied educational programs. 

Stam studies what forms of cooperation can enhance the performance of young companies in emerging industries. In other words, when is it smart to collaborate with competitors and when not? 

Individual and collective interests 

Another part of his research focuses on how the structure and dynamics of such networks affects the speed with which a new market is developing in terms of growth and innovation.

Are stable networks more profitable than more dynamic network structures? With this and related research questions Stam found a tension between the strategic interests of individual entrepreneurs in an emerging sector and their collective interests. Under what circumstances can both interests be promoted at the same time?


Curriculum vitae

Wouter Stam (Netherlands, 1979) obtained a Master’s Degree in International Business Studies, specializing in finance from Maastricht University. In 2008, he received his PhD (with cum laude distinction) from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, with a thesis examining the impact of social capital on the performance of entrepreneurial firms. During 2009-2015, he was a faculty member at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) where he taught courses in the undergraduate, MBA, and PhD programmes and received a prestigious GRF research grant from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. He has also been a visiting scholar at both the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and RSM Erasmus University. 

Stam has received several research and teaching awards, including the Karen Legge Prize from the Journal of Management Studies, the Emerald Citations of Excellence Award, and Outstanding Reviewer Awards from both Academy of Management Journal and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. His research has been published in top tier academic journals including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, and Research Policy. He currently serves as editor for Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, a leading journal in the field of entrepreneurship research that is listed in the Financial Times’ Journal List, and is a member of the editorial boards of several top tier journals, including the Academy of Management Journal and Journal of Management Studies.