University of Oulu

Lean internationalisation of high-tech startups : a business model perspective

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Author: Bui, Phuong1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, International Business
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Pages: 103
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : P. Bui, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-11
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Puhakka, Vesa
Reviewer: Puhakka, Vesa
Ahokangas, Petri


Globalisation is becoming indispensable in terms of profitability and growth for international businesses. Today, internationalisation has become one of the most important components of the company’s operation. Especially for startups, a key rule in starting new businesses today is to think global. Although many startups know that it is important to think global and expand internationally, the underlying actions required may not be always clear. Furthermore, although internationalisation is a key factor for business enterprises, it is relatively unknown how such companies as Born Globals are developing a successful process of entering the foreign market in a fast and lean way.

This study examines the factors influencing the speed of internationalisation from the perspective of business models, comparing fast and lean internationalisation with progressive and gradual internationalisation, such as the Uppsala model in the existing research. Thanks to the detailed case studies and thematic data analysis, the study compares three high-tech Finnish startups at various stages of the startup lifecycle. The study shows the importance of the business model perspective to explain the phenomenon of rapid internationalisation and lean internationalisation. One of the main results and contributions of the study is to develop a new framework to explain rapid and lean internationalisation. At the broader level of the new framework, the study suggests virtual presence, business model learning, and the ability to replicate business models are key aspects that can accelerate the internationalisation speed for high-tech startups. At the level of the specific components, four aspects of the business model (customer-centric value creation, market, internal capacity and strategic aspects) are identified to accelerate the internationalisation of the case companies.

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Copyright information: © Phuong Bui, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.