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What do growing early-stage digital start-ups look like? A mixed-methods approach

Griva, Anastasia; Kotsopoulos, Dimosthenis; Karagiannaki, Angeliki; Zamani, Efpraxia D.


Anastasia Griva

Dimosthenis Kotsopoulos

Angeliki Karagiannaki


Digital entrepreneurship is one of the most important and impactful forms of entrepreneurship. However, the majority of digital start-ups fail to scale, despite their potential to achieve growth. Moreover, what constitutes growth is significantly different for start-ups as compared with established firms: they have limited financial performance, and their growth cannot be accurately measured by metrics such as customers, revenues, profits, and turnover at the early stages of the new venture creation process or before the start-up has reached sustainability. Therefore, the first objective of this research is to contribute to the definition of growth by examining less tangible dimensions of growth. Moreover, the second objective is to identify the characteristics of early-stage digital start-ups experiencing growth. Based on a mixed-methods approach, which combines an adapted Delphi study, a questionnaire-based survey, and a comparative case study, our results suggest that growing digital start-ups exhibit a set of characteristics that include: an agile culture combining clan with adhocracy; the ability to nurture their absorptive, innovative, and adaptive capabilities effectively; and a human capital with adequate entrepreneurial skills, emotional attachment to and fitness with the start-up.


Griva, A., Kotsopoulos, D., Karagiannaki, A., & Zamani, E. D. (2023). What do growing early-stage digital start-ups look like? A mixed-methods approach. International Journal of Information Management, 69, Article 102427.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 13, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 22, 2021
Publication Date 2023-04
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2023
Journal International Journal of Information Management
Print ISSN 0268-4012
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Article Number 102427
Public URL