Leadership and Effectiveness of Incubation of Start-Ups: Research Scheme for Next Generation Stage Gate
Purpose: The aim of the article is to develop and propose a modernised Agile Development tool of the Stage Gate Model, i.e., the NaxGen Stage Gate System model, for use in start-up projects. The aim of the article is also to show how start-up activities should be modified at all stages of the process and what role system gates could play in order to incubate start-ups more effectively, but above all, so that start-ups can achieve benefits of using Stage Gate. Design/Methodology/Approach: A review of the literature on the subject, both local and international, made it possible to identify the causes of failure of start-ups on the market. The research results were analysed using the methods of descriptive statistics. The methodology proposed by the authors was developed on the basis of a 3-year research project monitoring the activities of start-ups located on Start-up Platforms in Poland. Findings: The key reasons for the failure of start-ups concern marketing aspects and leadership, for example, misidentification of consumer needs, poor pricing policy, inappropriate product features, or the fact that the product is unintuitive and difficult to use, poor promotion. These conclusions are very surprising as the knowledge and information on marketing have been accessible for decades. There is currently no work methodology dedicated to start-ups from the idea to commercialisation. Practical Implications: The proposed solution has significant practical implications. The NexGen Stage Gate system is a universal model. Due to the inclusion of Agile methodologies, Scrum, it has become even more useful for working on start-up projects. The authors’ scheme of research methods contributes to eliminating the biggest problems of start-ups, as well as to reducing the risk of investors investing in start-ups. Originality/value: The measure of the originality of the proposed solution is the Model Stage Gate System for start-up incubation. As part of the adopted methodology, lists of studies, analyses and suggestions were developed that should be implemented at individual stages and precisely verified by Gatekeepers.