IST Institute

    The Institute for Strategic Innovation and Technology Management is the competence center for innovation and strategy. Research focuses on Strategic Transformation, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Startups, Ambidextrie, Agility and Digitalization.

    Dekoratives grafisches Element

    Project Overview

    Doctoral Project ValueVentPro

    Based on a comprehensive empirical study, the current doctoral project ValueVentPro aims to develop the basis for improved methods for the evaluation of business plans of technology-based start-ups. The results enable banks to evaluate the risk profile of start-ups more effectively and reliably. To this end, the project develops prognosis models for the survival of technology-based start-ups based on empirically validated indicators. The research methodology follows the approach of action research. The project is divided into 3 phases: In the first phase, the preparatory work and the know-how of the project partners are brought together. From the preliminary work a procedure and technology for the IT-supported business plan analysis will be used, as well as first hypotheses for the survivability of technology-based start-ups will be set up. In the second phase, the solution will be developed iteratively. Expert knowledge from potential user companies will be integrated and a representative reference data set of 1,500 business plans will be established. Its analysis provides scientific findings on indicators for the survivability of business concepts. The final phase serves to secure and disseminate the results. The results, bundled in the ValueVentPro solution, serve as decision support for reduced hurdles in the allocation of capital, growth opportunities for start-ups and industry as well as business development.

    The ValueVentPro project is co-financed by Christina Ungerer's doctoral scholarship from the DZ Bank Foundation. 


    • Background & Motivation

      In the face of increasing pressure to innovate and the need for digital transformation, medium-sized companies are seeking to invest in technology start-ups in order to expand their business portfolio. As a medium-sized banking partner, cooperative banks in particular contribute to financing the innovation projects of such companies. In Baden-Württemberg alone, loans granted by Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks totalled 33.5 billion euros in 2015. In order to evaluate the allocation of funds or participation, both investors and companies need to evaluate innovative business concepts. For medium-sized companies, however, the effort for the analysis of business plan texts is often not possible and there is a lack of empirically supported methods for a reliable evaluation on the part of banks, other capital providers and investors.

      The desired results form the basis for the reduction of effort in the evaluation process of business concepts and the support of start-ups to strengthen their survivability. By supporting capital providers and investors, ValueVentPro makes an overall contribution to strengthening the industrial and start-up landscape: better methods for evaluating business concepts reduce hurdles in the allocation of capital and can also improve the targeted support provided by intermediaries. This can counteract the nationwide trend of declining start-up numbers and thus promote growth and the creation of new jobs. In order to continue the research project in the sense of a practice-relevant exploitation, interest parties could be supported in future with a web application for the risk-specific filtering and evaluation of business plans of technology-based start-ups. A cloud-based knowledge and information system for IT-supported analysis and decision support, for example, can be developed for this purpose.

    • Research Team

      Principal Investigator

      Prof. Dr.-Ing. Guido H. Baltes, Director of the IST Innovation Institute and Professor for Strategic Management and Innovation Marketing at Constance University of Applied Sciences

      Junior Researcher

      Christina Ungerer, PhD student at the IST Innovation Institute (full-time)

      Junior Researcher

      Marc König, external PhD student at the IST Innovation Institute (part-time) and Head of Coaching and Finance at bwcon GmbH

    • Project Partner

      bwcon GmbH

      The bwcon GmbH is a service provider for ventures, driving innovation by fostering interdisciplinary collaboration between developers, users and investors. Activities encompass innovation management as well as founder support and consulting. Within this context, bwcon currently works on several projects being funded by the State and the EU. Holistic support is realized here with the Venture Development System. It supports venture teams in the process of progressing from a business idea to a business model and finally to the business plan. Quality and efficiency of the ongoing auditing is increased with a scoring system based on expert knowledge.

      Vidatics GmbH

      Vidatics GmbH is an innovative IT startup specializing in the fields of data analytics, text analytics, visual analytics, big data, digitization and industry 4.0. In this environment, Vidatics offers implementation and support for various data analysis projects and consulting. It was founded in 2015 as a spin-off of the data analysis and visualisation group of Prof. Dr. Daniel A. Keim of the University of Constance and is based in Constance.

    • Forschungsmethodik

      The research methodology follows the approach of action research. Its advantage lies in the simultaneous development of application-oriented innovation and theoretical findings. The project is divided into 3 phases, in which the requirements are analysed, indicators and models are developed on this basis, and these are then used and tested:

      1. Bringing together the preparatory work and know-how of the project partners
      2. Iterative development of the solution by the actual innovations, empirically validated survival indicators and evidence-based prognosis models for start-up survival
      3. Securing and disseminating the results

      The learning aspect becomes clear in the discussion, reflection and further development in a circle of experience. Fast feedback cycles and non-linear project progress require active project management to coordinate several work packages active in parallel.

      The object of research are technology-based start-ups. For this purpose, a large sample of 800 initial business plans of technology-based start-ups, representative of Baden-Württemberg, will be analysed. For the analysis, a reference data set will be established and supplemented by further business plans of interested companies. This is the basis for the "training" of semantic templates. Based on the data analysis, the know-how and experience of interested companies is used to develop further hypotheses on indicators in addition to the coded transaction relationships. These are empirically validated on the reference data set. They serve the development of prognosis models for start-up survival, which are based on a selection set of indicators still to be weighted as well as other context factors. For evaluation by potential users, the Vidatics models will be implemented as software demonstrators.

      The research project follows the understanding of venture emergence and aims at an empirically founded contribution within the conceptual framework of dynamic capabilities, in particular to indicators for start-up survivability. It builds on initial findings from empirical research and supplements these with an alternative operationalization of the measures. For this purpose, market exchange relationships are identified as transaction relationships in business plan texts. The great innovation potential of ValueVentPro results from the generalization, based on empirically validated indicators, of method elements for decision support for banks that can only be found in isolated cases today.

    • Publications
      • König, M., Gudd, G., Ungerer, C., Baltes, G. (2017): Business Model Validity in Early-Stage Technology Ventures’ Business Plans, 2017 IEEE-ITMC & 23th ICE conference, Madeira (PT), p. 1-8
      • Ungerer, C., König, M., Maki, K.M., Baltes, G. (2017): On the Interconnectedness of Value Network Maturity and New Technology-Based Firm Survival, 2017 IEEE-ITMC & 23th ICE conference, Madeira (PT), p. 1-8
      • Ungerer, C., König, M., Giones, F., Baltes, G. (2016): Reliably Reading Venture Survival from the Business Plan: Determining Venture Emergence and Survival with Computer-Based Content Analysis of Business Plan Text. 2016 IEEE-ITMC & 22th ICE conference, Trondheim (NOR), p. 1-8
      • Ungerer, C., Giones, F., König, M., Baltes, G. (2016): Measuring Venture Emergence and Survival by Analyzing Transaction Relations in Business Plans. In: IEEE-ITMC & 22nd ICE conference 2016, Trondheim (NOR)
      • König, M., Ungerer, C., Büchele, R., Baltes, G. (2016): Agreement on the Venture’s Reality Presented in Business Plans. 2016 IEEE-ITMC & 22th ICE conference, Trondheim (NOR), p. 1-9