University of Oulu

Nirnaya Tripathi, Pertti Seppänen, Ganesh Boominathan, Markku Oivo, Kari Liukkunen, Insights into startup ecosystems through exploration of multi-vocal literature, Information and Software Technology, Volume 105, 2019, Pages 56-77, ISSN 0950-5849,

Insights into startup ecosystems through exploration of multi-vocal literature

Saved in:
Author: Tripathi, Nirnaya1; Seppänen, Pertti1; Boominathan, Ganesh1;
Organizations: 1M3S Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu-90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-08-14


Context: Successful startup firms have the ability to create jobs and contribute to economic welfare. A suitable ecosystem developed around startups is important to form and support these firms. In this regard, it is crucial to understand the startup ecosystem, particularly from researchers’ and practitioners’ perspectives. However, a systematic literature research on the startup ecosystem is limited. Objective: In this study, our objective was to conduct a multi-vocal literature review and rigorously find existing studies on the startup ecosystem in order to organize and analyze them, know the definitions and major elements of this ecosystem, and determine the roles of such elements in startups’ product development. Method: We conducted a multi-vocal literature review to analyze relevant articles, which are published technical articles, white papers, and Internet articles that focused on the startup ecosystem. Our search generated 18,310 articles, of which 63 were considered primary candidates focusing on the startup ecosystem. Results: From our analysis of primary articles, we found four definitions of a startup ecosystem. These definitions used common terms, such as stakeholders, supporting organization, infrastructure, network, and region. Out of 63 articles, 34 belonged to the opinion type, with contributions in the form of reports, whereas over 50% had full relevance to the startup ecosystem. We identified eight major elements (finance, demography, market, education, human capital, technology, entrepreneur, and support factors) of a startup ecosystem, which directly or indirectly affected startups. Conclusions: This study aims to provide the state of the art on the startup ecosystem through a multi-vocal literature review. The results indicate that current knowledge on the startup ecosystem is mainly shared by non-peer-reviewed literature, thus signifying the need for more systematic and empirical literature on the topic. Our study also provides some recommendations for future work.

see all

Series: Information and software technology
ISSN: 0950-5849
ISSN-E: 1873-6025
ISSN-L: 0950-5849
Volume: 105
Pages: 56 - 77
DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2018.08.005
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license