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This paper introduces an analytical framework for understanding how specialized and diversified regional innovation system (RIS) differ in the way an entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) is likely to unfold. To analytically explore the proposed framework, we deploy a sequential explanatory design approach, using quantitative data to analyze the regional industry structure of the city regions of Bergen and Stavanger in Western Norway, followed by a qualitative analysis of interviews with key stakeholders in both regions. We find that the city regions face unique challenges that align with an understanding of their respective RIS categorization, providing evidence that the framework proposed serves as a useful guide in understanding the development of an EDP.