In English

Transitioning to Scale Challenges and Support for Nordic Scale-ups

Josefin Malmgren ; Adam Videbert
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2018. 128 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, 2018.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

Recently, focus in the Nordics has expanded from only concerning start-ups to also include companies in the next phase, the scale-ups. These companies have found a product market fit and are experiencing high growth, with great potential to benefit society by employing and paying taxes if they succeed in scaling up. Several initiatives have been initiated with the aim to support scale-ups, for instance scaling programs, which are cohort-based, time-fixed programs. However, research on how such programs should be designed is lacking, as well as research regarding scale-ups in general. The purpose of the thesis is to identify the challenges that scale-ups face, and investigate how scaling programs can support companies in this phase. Furthermore, it aims to illuminate the need for policy makers and researchers to pay attention to scale-ups and understand how they differ from start-ups and established firms. Lastly, the aim is to improve social and economic sustainability, by highlighting how scale-ups most effectively should be supported. The study mapped all scaling programs in the Nordics. Interestingly, the programs varied much in terms of companies accepted, which might be a result of the lack of a formal definition of scale-ups. Four of the identified programs were selected for deeper case studies in which participants and organizers from LEAP, Nordic Scalers, Scaleup Academy and TINC were interviewed. From these interviews, as well as observations and interviews with scale-up experts, challenges for scale-ups were identified. In total, 21 challenges were identified for scale-ups, which in turn could be categorized into the challenge areas Ecosystem, Financing, Infrastructure, Leadership, Marketing & Sales, People, and Strategy. One of the most prominent challenges was access to competence both in terms of employees and scaling experience. From the collected data, a checklist containing ten design principles for scaling programs was developed. The thesis will have several implications for the growth and success of scale-ups in the Nordics. Firstly, by highlighting the challenges for scale-ups, it can help entrepreneurs to avoid some of them. Secondly, it provides an overview of the current support environment for scale-ups, which is valuable both for entrepreneurs and program organizers. Thirdly, it can help program organizers to design more effective scaling programs.

Nyckelord: Scale-up, scaling, high-growth company, growth challenges, scaling support, scaling program, program design principles, Nordic entrepreneurial ecosystem

Publikationen registrerades 2018-07-02. Den ändrades senast 2018-07-02

CPL ID: 255403

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