Moving Products Out of the Lab! An Examination of Lean Startup for Science-based New Ventures

Customer Development Model or Lean start-up (Ries, 2011; Blank & Dorf, 2012) emerges as the most popular methodology for entrepreneurship worldwide (Blank, 2013), becoming the  framework  for entrepreneurship  education  (Blank  &  Engel,  2013).  This approach  is based  on  the principle  that  assumptions  about  the  business  model  hypotheses  must  be validated iteratively through customer feedback, matching product to customer problems as much  as  possible (Heitmann,  2014).  These  explicit  assumptions  can  be  put  to  empirical tests in the “real world” (Harms, 2015: 22). Though the methodology has been criticized as being  informal,  intuitive and  prone  to  biases  and  heuristics  (York  &  Danes,  2014),  lean startup offers a unique set of tools and techniques for scientific entrepreneurs that potentially help  them  find  a market for  their  inventions  in  relatively  less  time  and  cost-effectively, in contrast to the traditional paths followed by many academic entrepreneurs. Our research is one  of  the  first attempts  to  systemize  the  knowledge  about  this  interaction  between  the customer development  model  and  science-based  entrepreneurship  in  the  context of an emerging economy.