Innovative Digital Start-Ups and their Venture Creation Process with Enabling Digital Platforms

Mäkäräinen-Suni, I. 2021. Innovative Digital Start-Ups and their Venture Creation Process with Enabling Digital Platforms. PhD thesis University of Westminster Applied Management

TitleInnovative Digital Start-Ups and their Venture Creation Process with Enabling Digital Platforms
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsMäkäräinen-Suni, I.

Start-ups have gained media attention since Google, Facebook and Amazon were launched in the 1990s. The book Lean Start-up, published in 2011, was another important milestone for digital start-up literature. As unicorn companies emerge around the world, topics highlighted in the news include the vast amount of capital that digital start-ups are raising, the ways in which these digital ventures are disrupting industries, and their global impact on digital economy. However, digital start-ups, digital venture ideas, and their venture creation process lack a unified venture creation model, as there is a gap in the re-search on entrepreneurial processes in a digital context. This research is an explorative study of the venture creation process of innovative digital start-ups that examines what is missing from entrepreneurial process models in a digital technology context and investi-gates how early stage digital start-ups conduct the venture creation process, starting with the pre-phase of antecedents and ending with the launch and scaling of the venture.

The research proposes a novel process model of innovative digital start-up venture crea-tion and describes the nature and patterns of the process. A conceptual model was devel-oped based on the entrepreneurship, information systems, and digital innovation litera-ture and empirically assessed with a multi-method qualitative research design. The data collected from semi-structured interviews, internet sources, and observation field notes covered 34 innovative digital start-ups and their founders. Interviews were conducted in-ternationally in high-ranking start-up ecosystems, and the data were analysed with the-matic analysis and fact-checked by triangulating internet data sources. The contribution to entrepreneurship theory is a new illustrative model of the venture creation process of innovative digital start-ups, including the emergent outcome of the process having a digi-tal artefact at its core (e.g., mobile apps, web-based solutions, digital platforms, software solutions, and digital ecosystems). Digital platforms and their multiple roles in the process are presented, as well as the role of critical events as moderators of the process which trigger new development cycles. During the venture creation process, the recombining of digital technologies, modules, and components enabled by digital infrastructures, plat-forms, and ecosystem partners represent digital technology affordances. This recombina-tion provides opportunities for asset-free development of digital venture ideas.

Keywordsdigital entrepreneurship, venture creation process, digital innovation, digital platforms, digital business models
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
PublishedFeb 2021
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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