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WorldCist'18 - 6th World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

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The rise of the Unicorn: Shedding light on the creation of technological enterprises with exponential valuations

The ambition to create start-ups with exponential valuations is the goal of entrepreneurs – who at times also simply seek to be their own bosses – and investors alike – in the latter case to also make up for the very high fail rate of new enterprises, which investors also invest in. However, the question remains unanswered as to how to achieve this and is thus the focus of this paper. How may one create the so-called unicorns (start-ups with a valuation in excess of one billion US dollars)? Our study is based mainly on exploratory research involving interviews and a focus group – with experts. A theoretical model was created to portray the reality of highly valuated companies. Business plans are surprisingly seen to be less important than is normally perceived, in society and in academia, as is a higher education degree. The research also points to variables such as one’s DNA, experience, implementation capacity, intrinsic motivation, vision and timing, and the ability to seek feedback and learn from mistakes and not just from success. Finally, the authors note that the size of the “unicorn club” is growing, in the increasingly technological world in which we live in.

Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira
GOVCOPP, Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Portugal

João Pedro Costa
Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Portugal

Ramiro Gonçalves
University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal; INESC TEC, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Portugal

Frederico Branco
University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal; INESC TEC, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Portugal

 

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