The unicorn factory : Examining Stockholm tech-startups and their pursuit of internationalization
Abstract: The idea behind this thesis was born from the success of the so-called unicorn companies originating from Stockholm. Unicorn companies are highly successful tech-startups which reached an evaluation of 1 billion USD while remaining private companies. This has created international attention to Stockholm, and the number of tech startups in the city has increased dramatically. The purpose of this thesis is to achieve a deeper understanding of how tech-startups in Stockholm design their internationalization strategy. To do this, comprehensive information regarding the background of this situation was given, which was then used to form the research questions. To answer them, research regarding internationalization, entrepreneurial strategies and business networks and relations were collected. The theories were then formulated into a conceptual synthesis. To answer our research questions, qualitative data was gathered through four semi-structured interviews with tech-startups operating in Stockholm. The abductive research approach was found to be the most useful approach for our research design. The analysis chapter was built upon the structure of our theories and analyzed through the lens of our conceptual synthesis. Formulating a discussion on the similarities between the theories and the empirical findings as well as unforeseen differences. Concluding our analysis of the gathered empirical data, we found an implication that there was a connection between the environment, the company and the strategy that they choose in order to internationalize, and that all factors impact each other. Following the analysis, the theoretical synthesis was adjusted based on the gathered data and restructured into a conceptual framework. This thesis stresses the importance of networks in entrepreneurial businesses and showcases why this is. It is of interest to entrepreneurs wishing to establish their own companies in Stockholm, but can also be of interest to entrepreneurs at large concerning their presence in tech-hubs.
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