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This paper aimed at investigating the relationship between the features of local knowledge bases and the creation of innovative start-ups in Italy. The knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship has here been combined with the recombinant knowledge hypothesis in order to derive a theoretical framework that could emphasize the heterogeneous nature of knowledge and identify some key dimensions. The empirical analysis has been focused on the patterns of new firm formation in Italian NUTS 3 regions using data on the creation of innovative start-ups that have followed the implementation of a new Italian regulation. The results of the analysis confirm that not only does the size of the knowledge stock play a key role in shaping the creation of innovative start-ups, but also the characteristics of such knowledge, in terms of variety and similarity.
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