Culture of innovation in Startups in the growth phase

How to implement a culture of innovation in Startups in the growth stage?
Master’s Thesis to gain the academic degree “Master of Arts” (M.A.)
Startups in the growth phase in Berlin
My role as a Designer
Research about the Start-up ecosystem in Berlin to understand the relationship between Culture and Innovation in a fast-growing Startup and design product based on the research 
Place / year
Berlin,  2018

strategic design


The practice of innovation needs to be mastered by organizations every day. This research looks for a better understanding of what are the best innovation practices, tools, methods and skills needed to create a culture of innovation. Moreover, it aims to explore different organizational structures and behaviors that allow innovation to happen in the context of Startups. it is important to mention that the lack of a culture of innovation is not the only reason why startups fail, whereas, investing in a culture of innovation is one of the main reasons for success. 


To have a better understanding of the main subject Culture of Innovation in Startups, I divided the research into two phases. The first phase was a theoretical research and the second was the field research. Both were carried out simultaneously, so while I was reading articles and books I was also going to workshops, talks, and events in Berlin's startup ecosystem, to make interviews with Startup founders, employees, and experts. As part of my research, I was part of PEAK's team during a 3 days workshop with Lufthansa technique about culture of innovation and Startups.



In the following graphic, we can observe the connection between the Startups growing behavior, represented with the Magento curve, with the Culture of innovation and innovation as a mindset, represented by the black curve. In one hand, the“Y” axis represents money, not only expresses the amount of invested capital, but it also represents the Startups’ market value, from 0 Euros to 1Billion Euros, which is the usual amount of money that a Startup should have to be able to go public and be on the IPO stage.. On the other hand, the “X” axis represents time in years, from 1 to 10. This graphic does not represent a unique Startup Behaviour, but a tendency. Each Startup is different; thus, this is a representation based on this research, which let us have a better understanding of this phenomenon.


Dialogue between Startups

How might we encourage a dialogue between Startups which have established a Culture of Innovation, Startups looking for guidance, and experts in this field of culture of innovation?


Embracing creativity

How might we support Startups to embrace creativity and develop an innovation mindset in early stages of growth?

It is a network to connect Startups in growth stages and different stakeholders, such as experts, companies, universities, agencies, accelerators, incubators, and entrepreneurs around the topic of culture of innovation.


It is an annual conference focused on culture of innovation. It is a fest where Startups’ teams get inspired by exchanging experiences, learning from experts, discussing and sharing practices around culture, innovation, and growth.


It is a collaborative community willing to exchange knowledge and also to learn about Culture of Innovation in bi-monthly events such as workshops and talks.


This is a peer-to-peer mentoring for Startups in the growth phase. This mentoring will be made not only by experienced Startups but also by experts and in the field of culture of innovation.

+49 157 72932177
typologo white.png

All rights Reserved Juan Sebastian Useche, 2019