This article addresses the question of how the emergence of a cluster in a global innovation system is influenced by early entrants. It does so by presenting an explorative study of the emerging digital creative industries cluster in Bangalore. I find that MNE entrants develop production and technological capabilities comparatively fast within a narrow range of value chain activities with limited spillovers to the cluster. In comparison, local entrants develop such capabilities more slowly, but within a broader range of value chain activities and with higher spillovers of skills and knowledge, as well as higher participation to building a local entrepreneurial ecosystem. I propose that these effects are moderated by the size of national consumer markets as well as industry context in the guise of project lengths and technological modularity. I also point to the role of global connectivity, proposing that local entrants, in particular, leverage international personal relationships for development of not only relational, but also production capabilities.