Academic journal article Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline

The X-Factor of Cultivating Successful Entrepreneurial Technology-Enabled Start-Ups

Academic journal article Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline

The X-Factor of Cultivating Successful Entrepreneurial Technology-Enabled Start-Ups

Article excerpt


In the fast changing global economic landscape, the cultivation of sustainable entrepreneurial ventures is seen as a vital mechanism that will enable businesses to introduce new innovative products to the market faster and more effectively than their competitors.

This research paper investigated phenomena that may play a significant role when entrepreneurs implement creative ideas resulting in successful technology enabled start-ups within the South African market place. Constant and significant changes in technology provide several challenges for entrepreneurship. Various themes such as innovation, work experience, idea generation, education and partnership formation have been explored to assess their impact on entrepreneurship.

Reflection and a design thinking approach underpinned a rigorous analysis process to distill themes from the data gathered through semi structured interviews. From the findings it was evident that the primary success influencers include the formation of partnership, iterative cycles, and certain types of education. The secondary influencers included the origination of an idea, the use of innovation and organizational culture as well as work experience.

This research illustrates how Informing Science as a transdisicpline can provide a philosophical underpinning to communicate and synthesise ideas from constituent disciplines in an attempt to create a more cohesive whole. This diverse environment, comprising people, technology, and business, requires blending different elements from across diverse fields to yield better science. With this backdrop, this preliminary study provides an important foundation for further research in the context of a developing country where entrepreneurial ventures may have a socio-economical impact. The themes that emerged through this study could provide avenues for further research.

Keywords: entrepreneurial start-ups, partnerships, education, idea generation, innovation, design thinking, common features for the foundation of a successful company


In recent years, there has been a world-wide drive for innovation and the nurturing and valuing of creative ideas that will result in successful entrepreneurial ventures. Managing creativity in order to advance innovation is a vital challenge, and consequently managing ideas will become more and more important to ensure organizational growth (Cohendet & Simon, 2015). This is of particular importance in developing countries like South Africa where research has shown a recent drop in entrepreneurial activities (GIBS, 2009). Cohendet and Simon (2015) also contend that, while ideas are the basic cornerstones (foundations) of creativity and innovation, new ideas are not enough to generate and drive innovation. Producing an idea is only the start and must be followed by a process converting and realizing the potential of the idea. Developing and realizing ideas is what constitutes the innovation process.

Many universities include the notion of innovation in their mission and value statements to generate new ideas that will create alternative ways of thinking when solving real world problems. Nurturing the development of new products, processes, and services in this way can benefit society and should be encouraged. Matthews (2007) confirms that creativity and entrepreneurship have been identified as important stimuli of economic growth. She also suggests that creative thinking practices are beneficial for entrepreneurship or for starting a new venture. Cooke and Zaby (2015) explored the skills that technology start-ups view as important and that graduates seem to be in need of. They found that creative drive as well as original idea contribution were ranked in the top 10. Peppard and Ward (2004) contend that the competitive ability of organizations relies heavily on the effective use of Information Technology(IT) and Information Systems(IS). …

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