The Rise of the Unicorn: Shedding Light on the Creation of Technological Enterprises with Exponential Valuations

  • Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira
  • João Pedro Costa
  • Ramiro Gonçalves
  • Frederico Branco
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 745)


The ambition to create start-ups with exponential valuations is the goal of many entrepreneurs. How may one create the so-called unicorns (start-ups with a valuation in excess of one billion US dollars)? Our study involved interviews and a focus group and a theoretical model was created. Business plans are surprisingly seen to be less important than is normally perceived, as is a higher education degree. The research also points to variables such as one’s DNA, experience, implementation capacity, intrinsic motivation, vision and timing, and the ability to seek feedback and learn from mistakes and not just from success.


Innovation Entrepreneurship DNA Motivation Unicorn Business plan Higher education 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira
    • 1
    • 2
  • João Pedro Costa
    • 1
  • Ramiro Gonçalves
    • 3
  • Frederico Branco
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and TourismUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.GOVCOPPAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.INESC TEC and University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal

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