Impact of initial business model on the growth trajectory of new technology-based firms: a path dependency perspective
Journal article, 2024

Our study explores links between the initial business model design and the post-founding development of new technology-based firms (NTBFs) through a selection of recently established NTBFs across Sweden, Finland, and France (481 firms). The trajectory of these firms’ performance has been observed and analyzed over the span of five years. The study examines the long-term effects of NTBFs’ initial business model design on their development and the path dependency of these designs on future firm performance. Our results indicate that high-growth and stable NTBFs have distinct initial designs, implying that new firms’ founders and their business design decisions have important consequences for subsequent NTBF development. Specifically, our study examines how business model characteristics impact the growth trajectory of NTBFs by empirically differentiating between the foundational characteristics of high-growth and stable NTBFs. We find that maintaining stable activity is linked to a low level of uniqueness, less demanding business objectives, and a lack of risk while high-growth is related to a larger early access to resources. We propose an explanation using path dependency literature, arguing how early business model choices predetermine long-term growth paths. Our research also provides valuable insights for stakeholders in designing targeted strategies for sustainable development.

Imprinting mechanism


Post-founding success

High-growth firms

Stable firms



Founding business model




Path dependency


Hans Löfsten

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Anders Isaksson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Heikki Rannikko


Erno Tornikoski

University of Exeter

Mickaël Buffart

Stockholm School of Economics

Journal of Technology Transfer

0892-9912 (ISSN) 15737047 (eISSN)

Vol. In Press

Initial business models and subsequent performance of new technology-based firms in Sweden and Finland

The Wallenberg Foundations, Peter Wallenberg, 2020-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Economics and Business

Business Administration



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