September 24, 2019 – September 25, 2019


The global financial crisis, which struck most of the world’s national and regional economic systems, has led to calls for a further reflection on the evolution of the financial system and of the financing instruments to sustain entrepreneurship, technological changes through innovation, and firms’ growth (Lee et al., 2015). The pressing financial needs of SMEs, together with the growing and ever-changing opportunities for investors, have induced the rise of new modes of financial intermediation beside the traditional sources and often in combination with them. Many new equity and debt based financing opportunities are now available for SMEs, including crowdfunding (CF), crowdlending (CL), easy access to business angels (BAs) and governmental VC finance, hybrid and innovative finance schemes (e.g. participative loans). The digital revolution has also accelerated the use of alternative sources of finance for start-ups, which both complement and compete with traditional sources.

Although academic research on entrepreneurial finance is gaining momentum in understanding the dynamics of financing and its effects on firms’ growth, the challenges occurring in the entrepreneurial finance landscape have received less attention than necessary. Studies in entrepreneurial finance that explore the several financial tools available to SMEs and new ventures have not performed a carefully nuanced analysis of the regulatory institutional conditions that may affect the entrepreneurial finance landscape, nor they have examined the interdependencies between new financial channels and policy schemes to support SMEs and startups.

The new scenario is characterized by a high level of technological, investment, and regulatory complexity: on the one hand new investment approaches, valuation methods, and business models of entrepreneurial financing are emerging, on the other hand differences across countries in terms of regulations (e.g. tax regimes, bankruptcy laws, legislations on equity crowdfunding) are still in place. This situation calls for integrated policies, especially in the light of a new reconfiguration of financial markets following the exit from the EU of the largest equity market in Europe (UK) and following the policy reshaping that is currently operationalized by the European Commission for the next EU Framework Programme (FP9).

Reflecting the breadth of financial instruments that are potentially available to new high-tech ventures, the conference will deal with the changing ecosystem of entrepreneurial finance, currently transformed by the Fintech revolution and by the entrance of new actors in the arena and will investigate the social changes this new financial environment creates.


Some broad topics that might be addressed in papers submitted to the conference include:

  • Public policy towards the financing of high-tech entrepreneurship and innovative firms
  • The role of the Fintech revolution in the changing eco-system of entrepreneurial finance
  • The effects of the financial crisis on SMEs and new ventures
  • New forms of entrepreneurial finance (e.g. proof-of-concepts, ICOs)
  • The relationship between different forms of finance (crowdlending, crowdfunding, business angels, venture capital)
  • The role of location and institutional characteristics in shaping the ecosystem of actors (and their relationships) surrounding start-up financing
  • Entrepreneurs and investors’ social capital and positioning into a network
  • Business models and different sources of financing
  • Policy challenges and the integration of European entrepreneurial finance policies
  • The impact of the digital transformation on regional equity gap
  • Financial markets, regulatory framework and the provision of finance for SMEs
  • Crowdfunding: opportunities, challenges and critical factors
  • Venture capital, innovation and high-tech start-ups performance
  • Macro perspectives on financial markets, innovation, high-tech entrepreneurship and economic growth
  • Innovative policy tools to finance innovative and high potential SMEs

The international academic Journal “Technological Forecasting and Social Change” has accepted to link a Special Issue to the topic of this conference, entitled “Digital technologies and the changing entrepreneurial finance landscape”. Submission to the Special Issue takes place separately and will only be open after the conference. Details on the special issue are provided on the Journal website. Dual submission is possible but not mandatory. Authors can submit to the conference without automatic submission at the Journal, and it is possible to submit to the Special Issue without having presented at the conference. Authors are advised to include the feedback from the conference into a potential submission to the special issue. Final decisions on papers submitted to the Special Issue will be made by the regular editors of the Journal based on the peer-review process at TFSC.

Organizing Committee

  • Elisa Ughetto (Politecnico di Torino) - Scientific Coordinator
  • Annalisa Croce (Politecnico di Milano School of Management) - Scientific Coordinator
  • Massimo G. Colombo (Politecnico di Milano School of Management)
  • Emilio Paolucci (Politecnico di Torino)
  • Vincenzo Butticè (Politecnico di Milano School of Management)
  • Carlotta Orsenigo (Politecnico di Milano School of Management)
  • Francesca Tenca (Politecnico di Milano School of Management)
  • Daniele Battaglia (Politecnico di Torino)
  • Antonio DeMarco (Politecnico di Torino)
  • Francesco Fontana (Politecnico di Torino)

Keynote Speaker

Rosemarie Ziedonis is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Questrom. She has a Ph.D. in Business and Public Policy from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to joining Questrom, she served on the faculty at the University of Oregon, the Wharton School, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where she co-directed the Program for Law, Economics, and Technology. Her research examines the value and strategic use of intellectual property, and broader aspects of innovation policy and management. Findings from her studies have been published in a wide range of journals including the Journal of Financial Economics, Organization Science, Management Science, the Rand Journal of Economics, Research Policy, Science and the Strategic Management Journal. She is an Associate Editor at Management Science, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.


Target audience

The conference aims at involving a selected group of scholars. The participation from scholars at the Assistant Professor level, at the post-doc level, or at early stages of their career is particularly encouraged. PhD candidates at the final stage of their dissertation are also encouraged to attend.

Submissions and selection

Participants are invited to submit a full paper or an extended abstract and their CV. Full papers should be no longer than 30 pages, including figures and tables. Extended abstracts should be no longer than 3,000 words and clearly specify the objective of the study, its approach and results. The CV should indicate the PhD dissertation topic for PhD students and the main research projects for research assistants and post-doctoral researchers. Full papers/extended abstracts and CVs should be submitted by email to the following address as PDF files.

Participants will be selected basing upon the quality of the submitted paper/extended abstract, the coherence with the conference theme, and their CV. Once acceptance will be notified, participants should confirm their participation and send the final version of their full paper.

Main deadlines

Deadline for submission to the Special Issue

December 15th, 2019

Deadline for full papers/extended abstracts submission

June 16th, 2019

Notification of acceptance

July 5th, 2019

Deadline for sending full papers and registration (including the payment of the fee)

August 25th, 2019


September 24th-25th, 2019

Deadline for special issue

December 15th, 2019

Conference venue

Politecnico di Torino, Energy Center

Via Paolo Borsellino 38/16 - 10138 Torino (Italy).

Conference fee

EU-SPRI members: the conference is free of charge. The organization will cover accommodation for two nights, coffee breaks, lunches, conference material and the conference dinner. Accommodation for early career delegates will be provided close to the conference venue.

Non EU-SPRI members: the conference fee is 205 € (includes conference material, coffee breaks, lunches, and conference dinner). Participants from outside EU-SPRI forum are advised to book their accommodation in Turin.  

For information about conference registration, payment and any other questions, please contact the conference organizers:


Technological Forecasting and Social Change combined submission option

All submissions should be made using the following address: The Guest Editors will initially review the papers and decide which papers will go forward for review by two anonymous referees. The General Editors of Technological Forecasting and Social Change will have oversight of the final set of papers accepted for publication. The General Editor in charge of the Special Issue is Alexander Brem.



In parallel with the conference, we will organize a summer school on the same themes. Further information available at:

Summer School