Having a scalable business model is a goal that plays a major role for start-ups and new technology-based ventures (Kollmann et al. 2016). Company growth in general is resulting out of the interactions between various factors, located inside and outside a business (Jünger 2008). During the process of growth upcoming troubles and challenges are as diverse as the ways in which growth can be achieved (Kummer et al. 2016). Reality shows that in addition to successful former start-ups such as AirBnB (Rachleff and Rosenthal 2013), there are a considerable number of young companies which are unable to establish themselves in the market and fail to increase their operations (Lussier and Corman 1996, Song et al. 2008, Bogott et al. 2017).
The following case study examines the evolution of the new technology-based venture RESTUBE right from the formation up to an established company. It specifically explores the influence of the surrounding entrepreneurial ecosystem on this process as well as the founders’ role transformation during in the growth process. Therefore, in the first place an intensive expert interview with Christopher Fuhrhop, one of the founders of RESTUBE, was conducted (Fuhrhop 2018). ... mehrThe history of the company RESTUBE is prepared as a success example for entrepreneurial activity and its challenges. It is used to show the complex relationships regarding a young business as well as the influences during the evolutionary process in order to indicate results that can be transferred to companies in similar context (Mayring 2001, Yin 2014). The transcription of the expert interview and the associated audio file are available at the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology-Management and Innovation (EnTechnon) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
In the case study below the product innovation, the target market, the organizational characteristics of RESTUBE, the company culture and the external support are analysed. Furthermore, the entrepreneurial team, the role of the founder and the problems and crisis during the growth process are illustrated. The findings of the case study underline the high impact of the entrepreneurial environment on the local start-up success as well as the complexity of the ecosystem determinants (Suresh and Ramsej 2012). Based on the qualitative analysis, the results indicate that the role of the founder is shifting over time as well as the focus and priorities are changing.
Methodically, the case study is based on the guidelines of Yin (2014) as well as Dul and Hak (2008). Furthermore, the practical structure is influenced by similar case studies, such as Rachleff and Rosenthal (2013), Rau (2007), Runge (2014) and Wohlfeil (2015).