Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How a company is born

20.05.2009
Solitude is the entrepreneur's worst enemy. And the business plan is hardly used daily but gets dusted off once in a while.

With the help of unique electronic diaries, business studies researcher Jaqueline Bergendahl, Lund University in Sweden, has gleaned new knowledge of how the founders of a new company make decisions to further their business projects.

Jaqueline Bergendahl is a pioneer in her use of electronic diaries to follow the decision-making processes of entrepreneurs. It was a challenge to develop the diary and to get the founders of companies literally to keep a diary about their entrepreneurial journey.

The diaries started out as daily e-mails, but the researcher soon established a database that the founders could visit via the incubator's home page and fill out an electronic, user-friendly form. But it was not until the researcher had developed a concrete language that the entrepreneurs could understand, and when she got them to realize that the diary was about their decision-making processes, that the entrepreneurs really became interested in keeping their diaries. It was also important that the entrepreneurs developed great trust in the researcher.

"Together with the founders of the companies, I developed the questions to be addressed in the diary, questions for the day and questions for the week. The electronic form was also a way to ensure the confidentiality of the information. With time, the entrepreneurs became more and more interested in their diaries, and they stressed that it was so interesting also for them to go back and read," says Jaqueline Bergendahl.

She believes that electronic diaries can function well in health care, for example, where it would be possible to use them to continuously follow up patients and at the same time maintain confidentiality.

The diaries have contributed a great deal of knowledge about how companies are started. The entrepreneurs in the study are establishing companies at the Lund University business incubator Venture Lab. They work in teams, and many of them have been highly successful in putting their companies on the market. But the decisions that constitute their path to the market sometimes surprise Jaqueline Bergendahl:

"I thought that the founders would have an approach where they would be open to new business opportunities all the time.

Instead it turned out that, throughout the entire establishment process, the founders continually shifted between being open to new possibilities and being extremely single minded in pursuing their goals."

For example, the founders were highly goal-directed when it was time to produce a business plan.

"The plan was developed ahead of special situations, like the Venture Cup, which is a competition among business plans, and like financing occasions, such as bank visits. But the business plan was not used in daily work."

On the other hand, these young entrepreneurs were extremely open in their attitudes regarding other entrepreneurial projects.

"The entrepreneurs were extremely active. They work as consultants or have other projects, and many of them are pursuing studies at the same time as they are starting a company. Projects on the side are important: they contribute money and broader interfaces for the company project. Since the projects these entrepreneurs are running are difficult, it's relaxing to work with something else alongside the company project."

When starting a company, it is crucial to develop a prototype. The project cannot take off until there is something concrete to show prospective customers. In teams whose members have differing goals in establishing the company, little progress is made; the project stagnates. Also, members who are too similar to each other have a hard time finding their proper roles - more heterogeneous teams work better.

"For example, when an economist and an engineer work together, their roles are quite distinct. One can concentrate on developing the prototype while the other works on marketing and developing a business plan."

It is important for partners to enter a contract at the start of the project, so everyone is in agreement and has common goals to work toward. Taking the entire entrepreneurial journey on your own is not something she would recommend:

"It's important to have a team, to be able to bounce ideas off each other, and to have fun together. You need someone to talk to, and if you're on your own, you will be extremely vulnerable if you get sick, for example."

Support from family and friends is important, also financially, for people founding companies. But the life of the entrepreneur is tough. What drives them?

"They think it's so much fun. They are happy, incredibly dedicated, and they believe in their ideas."

The dissertation is titled: Entreprenörskapsresan genom beslutsprocesser i team - en elektronisk dagboksstudie i realtid (The Entrepreneurial Journey through Decision-making Processes in Teams - An Electronic Diary Study in Real Time)

Contact Jaqueline Bergendahl at cell phone: +46 (0)70-489 67 92 or jaqueline.bergendahl@fek.lu.se

Kristina Rörström | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>