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Pebble Technology Corporation (Pebble) was an early entrant into the smartwatch industry. Pebble’s Founder, Eric Migicovsky, began thinking about creating a smartwatch in…
Pebble Technology Corporation (Pebble) was an early entrant into the smartwatch industry. Pebble’s Founder, Eric Migicovsky, began thinking about creating a smartwatch in 2008 while still an undergraduate engineering student. After selling about 1,500 prototype watches, he was accepted into Silicon Valley’s prestigious Y Combinator business start-up program. Finding it difficult to attract investors, Migicovsky launched a crowdfunding campaign that raised a record-breaking $10.27m on Kickstarter. The case concludes shortly after Apple’s unveiling of its soon-to-be-released Apple Watch. The case provides an opportunity to evaluate Pebble’s various strategic options at the time of Apple’s announcement.
The authors observed over 30 h of video and audio recordings of speeches, interviews and other events involving Pebble’s founder, other Pebble executives, investors and competitors. These recordings are all publicly available. Whenever possible, the authors also reviewed the Twitter feeds, Facebook sites and personal websites of Pebble’s top executives over time. Similarly, the authors followed Pebble’s official website, corporate blog and Kickstarter campaign websites. The authors also drew from numerous media reports. Due to the public nature of the data, no company release is provided nor has any information been disguised in any way.
Relevant courses and levels
The case is designed for both undergraduate and graduate students for courses in strategic management.
Delee founders aimed to change the way cancer radically was detected, monitored, and treated. They created CytoCatch™, a highly sensitive automated benchtop device for the…
Delee founders aimed to change the way cancer radically was detected, monitored, and treated. They created CytoCatch™, a highly sensitive automated benchtop device for the rapid isolation and analysis of circulating tumor cells from blood samples to make this possible. Strategic alliances with Stanford University, Tecnologico de Monterrey, and UANL strengthened this innovative company’s purpose. Nevertheless, some questions arose when selecting a suitable business strategy to accomplish Delee’s vision. Liza Velarde, Delee’s CEO, was preparing the agenda for the company’s 2025 planning in November 2020. The journey has been challenging, and Liza Velarde faced critical decision-making milestones. What could be the most promising customer segment for her technology? What business model may work better for such a market? How can Delee reduce the time-to-market for their technology? Furthermore, how can Delee fund their development for the following years until FDA approves?
With the application of this case, the teacher aspires that students understand the following crucial insights: to understand the impact of a business model strategy, identify different possible business models, and explore options; in this sense, intellectual property can offer options to the strategy; to identify and analyze the gender gap in entrepreneurship and its strategic implications; and to identify the relevance of reducing the time to market for a technological product.
Gender inclusiveness in entrepreneurship.
Complexity academic level
Undergraduate and graduate-level.
Teaching notes are available for educators only.
CCS 3: Entrepreneurship.
Blockchain technologies have pervaded modern crowdfunding and capital sourcing through a variety of financial instruments implemented as smart contracts. Smart contracts…
Blockchain technologies have pervaded modern crowdfunding and capital sourcing through a variety of financial instruments implemented as smart contracts. Smart contracts provide a unique mechanism not only to create a unique one-of-a-type financial instrument, but also to enable unique innovations atop existing financial instruments due to underlying efficiencies. The smartness comes from the flexibility that programs provide which can create extremely unique financial instruments that are often complex to implement, yet easy to create, maintain through versioning, trade and destroy. The purpose of this paper is to describe the security token architecture as an application of smart contracts. Further, the author illustrates the implementation and design of a commonly used financial instrument known as Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) using the security token architecture proposed and smart contract functionality. The author then models the transaction using relational algebra, and, models the utility maximization. The author shows how on account of reduced information asymmetry between the investors and SAFE users (i.e. startups) utility is positive when smart contract-based security tokens are deployed for each state in the SAFE contract.
Using an existing well-adopted instrument called a SAFE contract, the author illustrates the architecture of a smart contract-based security token system. The author illustrates how different components of a SAFE contract can be implemented as a smart contract and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of applying blockchain-based smart contracts to design SAFE instruments. The author deploys two methods: a state space diagram to explain state transitions and a utility model to explain the utilities.
The key findings of this research study are the design of a security token architecture, which can be used to convert any the physical or contract-based financial instrument to a smart contract that runs on the blockchain. However, there are limitations to the implementation of the same which can be overcome. The model illustrates the positive utilities derived for all economic actors, i.e. the contractors, the utility providers, etc., in the market.
This paper is an original paper. For the very first time, the author explored the architecture of a security token system. Using a well-known financial instrument, namely the SAFE, the author describes various components, e.g. the four contracts that form SAFE and then model the utilities for the system.
This study aims to explore Accelerators and their practices in sustaining start-ups within their innovative programs for these companies based on the resource-based…
This study aims to explore Accelerators and their practices in sustaining start-ups within their innovative programs for these companies based on the resource-based perspective. Moreover, with an ever-increasing demand for Accelerators amongst start-up companies, this study also demonstrates the importance of Accelerators, as it pertains to new venture creation.
This research uses an exploratory case study approach to examine a comparative view of leading Accelerator companies in the USA and Korea based on resource support.
The results of this study show that there are a number of differences between Accelerators of the two countries in terms of the resources they support for early-stage start-ups. The findings also show some similarities. However, in Korea, the Accelerator landscape is limited, where mentorship, resources and investments are not readily accessible, resulting in low success rates for Korean start-up companies. These limitations have had a negative trickle-down effect when providing entrepreneurs with strong access to resources and investors, which highly affects the success rates of early-stage start-ups.
In terms of the resource-based theory, this study contributes to the growth of early start-ups by emphasizing the role of the accelerator and suggesting the extent and impact that entrepreneurs have access to resources and investors.
With significant growth in start-ups around the world, the necessity for start-up funding and mentorship has increased drastically. Start-up companies need various types of assets, systems, knowledge and information to achieve their goals. In Accelerators, start-ups receive all the aforementioned resources while also improving their entrepreneurial skills. Start-up companies have many options in seeking investors who support both tangible and intangible resources to boost growth. While there is a wealth of information on traditional funding methods, there are few studies that shed light on the role of Accelerators from the resource-based point of view.
This study aims to explore the internationalization trajectory of emerging country digital economy ventures by specifically concentrating on how ambidexterity facilitates…
This study aims to explore the internationalization trajectory of emerging country digital economy ventures by specifically concentrating on how ambidexterity facilitates international market expansion. Further, this paper examines how these ventures develop dynamic capabilities by using their ambidextrous skills in the entrepreneurial ecosystem (EE).
This study adopts a multiple-case research design where data were gathered from five digital economy ventures in Turkey, serving an international array of customers.
The analyses reveal that, to a large extent, internationalization is enabled by the extensive use of ambidextrous skills in the ecosystem domain. We found evidence for practicing exploration and exploitation while interacting with several ecosystem pillars grouped as founder-related, firm-related and business context-related factors. These interactions portray how ventures sense, seize and transform resources to support their international expansion.
This study extends the current literature on internationalization by discussing the role of ambidexterity as a dynamic capability. The findings also demonstrate the EE as a construct to explain international entrepreneurial activity. Further, the study extends the existing literature by considering the calls for research on dynamic capabilities of international new ventures (INVs). Finally, the findings point to several implications both for practitioners and policymakers.
This study aims to investigate a startup accelerator’s decisions toward exerting effort in an information acquisition process and selecting an information disclosure…
This study aims to investigate a startup accelerator’s decisions toward exerting effort in an information acquisition process and selecting an information disclosure strategy. In particular, the authors are interested in examining which factors may cause the accelerator to report more or less accurate information, which will subsequently affect the investment decision and the outcome of the ventures. This study examines the impact of the equity share taken by the accelerator on the effort level being exerted in the information acquisition process, as well as the accelerator’s decision on the information disclosure regime.
The authors use mathematical models built upon well-established theoretical and practical concepts to analyze the research problems and derive the findings.
The authors show that when the accelerator takes a sufficiently large equity share from the entrepreneur in exchange for admitting the entrepreneur’s venture into the acceleration program, the accelerator is motivated to exert a significant level of effort to observe an accurate signal for the quality of the venture, and then disclose the information about the venture’s quality consistently with the observed signal (informative disclosure regime). On the other hand, if the accelerator takes a small equity share, it is optimal for her to exert no effort in the information acquisition process and simply adopt the basic disclosure regime, where the accelerator reports the quality of the venture based solely on the ex ante expected payoff of the venture, regardless of the observed signal.
The results indicate that an equity sharing scheme, which awards a sufficient amount of equity to the accelerator, can be an effective tool to help obtain accurate information about the quality of a startup venture and make a well-informed investment decision.
This research illustrates that the ownership stake of the accelerator can potentially indicate the accuracy of the information about the venture provided by the accelerator to outside investors. That is, when the stake held by the accelerator is large, the investors can conjecture that the information about the venture reported by the accelerator may be highly accurate and reliable. In contrast, if the accelerator holds a small stake, then it is likely that the information provided by the accelerator may not add any value to the publicly available information. These insights can guide investors (e.g. angle investors, venture capitalists, etc.) in making well-informed startup investment decisions.