In this paper, the authors introduce the concept of the lean global start-up (LGS) as a way of emphasising the problems for new technology start-ups when dealing separately with business development, innovation and early internationalisation. The paper has two components - an introductory conceptual part and an empirical part that should be considered as basis for the preliminary validation of the conceptual insights. The research sample includes six firms - three from Canada and three from Denmark. Two different early internationalisation paths have been identified: Lean-to-global (L2G start-ups) and lean-and-global (L&G start-ups). Both types of start-ups were found to have faced significant problems with the complexity, uncertainties and risks of being innovative on a global scale. They have however found ways of addressing these problems by a disciplined knowledge sharing and IP protection strategy and the efficient use of business and supporting and public funding mechanisms. The Danish firms have pivoted around the ways of delivering their value proposition and not around the specific value propositions themselves. The Canadian firms have actively pivoted their value proposition motivated by the degree of innovativeness of their products and the insights from business supporting organisations. The analysis of the results justifies the introduction of the LGS concept and opens the opportunity for future research focusing on the articulation of more practical LGS entrepreneurial frameworks.

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International Journal of Innovation Management
Sprott School of Business

Tanev, S, Rasmussen, E.S. (Erik Stavnsager), Zijdemans, E. (Erik), Lemminger, R. (Roy), & Svendsen, L.L. (Lars Limkilde). (2015). Lean and global technology Start-UPS: Linking the two research streams. International Journal of Innovation Management, 19(3). doi:10.1142/S1363919615400083