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The business model concept has only recently been discussed in the research literature. Some authors have pointed out that it is a second-order construct and have examined its theoretical underpinnings as a cognitive mechanism for opportunity perception and identification, using it as a tool to systematically approach the analysis of the beliefs and decisions that entrepreneurs use in building their businesses. We present a theoretical model that contributes to this prior work in three respects: a) it is explicitly applied to the analysis of technology-based firms, b) it identifies key regional factors that differentiate the entrepreneurial context in different parts of the world, and c) it portrays the relationship these regional factors have to different elements of business models in technology-based firms. We combine the cognitive role of business models with a regional context view in order to analyze the structure and process by which entrepreneurs focus on or ignore different aspects of a business model at different times. To illustrate the our model we provide case data to illustrate how entrepreneurs from two different regions - Western Mexico (Jalisco) and Western Canada (British Columbia) - use and rely on different elements of business models, and to exemplify how differences in the cultural, technological and industry context of our case study firms influence different elements of the business model.