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What elements are crucial to create when taking the first steps of your startup? As educators ‘through’ entrepreneurship, we are interested in delivering an understanding of the core of a startup in a short period of time.

Practitioners of lean startup approaches talk about achieving product-market fit, often defined by growth benchmarks, such as 10% week on week growth. Those numbers don’t inform us about the anatomy of the viable startup. In fact, the anatomy is ill-defined. In this research project, I try to deepen our understanding of which elements are most crucial to design in early-stage startups in order to make it a viable business.

Design is a crucial aspect of this forming process, shaping something that is not there yet to exist in the existing network of stakeholders and influences. We do not mean design in the aesthetic sense, but design in the sense of conceptualising from findings; designing a proposition, designing your business model, designing your supply chain, to name a couple. It’s not limited to these three to be designed elements, therre are many more. These elements we call ‘kernels’, as the mature startup grows out of those starting points. The goal of the project is to identify these crucial elements and develop methods for designing them.