Key success factors for turning a high technology startup into a commercial success: A case study of a semiconductor startup

University essay from Lunds universitet/Produktionsekonomi

Abstract: While there have been numerous research papers defining and discussing high technology startup success, there is a lack of unity what the recipe for success is. Due to lack of market orientation being one of the most common reasons for startup failure, combined with the essentiality of having a strong technology base in a high technology environment, there is an interest to study their intersection also due to confine previous research in this area. Hence, the main purpose of this master thesis is to identify, categorize and understand key success factors of transforming a high technology startup from a pure innovation-focused firm to a market and technology-focused organization to ensure a sustainable competitive advantage. The study was conducted in collaboration with a high technology startup in Sweden that designs tailormade semiconductor IPs with extraordinarily low energy consumption. The secondary purpose is to develop an applicable framework, encapsulating the key success factors, to help high technology startups evaluate their commercial position. By studying the intersection between the two theoretical areas - market and technology focus – we were able to identify six apparent success factors, later compiled into a guiding framework, including the complimentary, but still prepossessing, elements of revaluation over time and understanding your value proposition. The six success factors are categorized in pairs and should be studied in chronological order as follows: 1. Deploy a technological & economical audit, cherry-pick time & cost-effective marketing analysis tools 2. Develop a capacity to absorb & filter external knowledge, scan the market frontier 3. Identify lead customers 4. Avoid marketing and technology myopia 5. Avoid hoarding & actively spread information 6. Capture tacit knowledge & seek new learning

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