The Role of Design in Design Intensive Start-ups

  • Cabirio Cautela Politecnico di Milano
  • Michele Simoni Università degli studi di Napoli Parthenope
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Start-up, Design Intensive Start-up, Design, Transformation


This paper analyzes the role of design in start-ups that focus on design as the primary source of value creation. These “design-intensive start-ups” (DIS) have, to-date, received little attention, in either the entrepreneurial or the design related literature. In particular, our explorative study focuses on how do DIS leverage design in the first years of the venture and suggests that this type of start-ups use design to: transform the meaning of the product/service offered, provide a different socio-cultural narrative af the how value can be created, incorporate the social-capital in the value proposition. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Normal Paper (no special issue)