Videointerview St. Galler Startup Navigator von Dietmar Grichnik und Manuel Hess veröffentlicht.

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Grichnik und Manuel Hess über die Entstehungsgeschichte des St.Galler Startup Navigators, wichtige Inputs von erfolgreichen Entrepreneuren und die vier Blöcke, die im Zentrum des Tools stehen, das im Zusammenspiel evidenzbasierter Wissenschaft und Erfahrungen aus der Praxis entstanden ist.

Zum Beitrag auf das Foto unten klicken; auch auf der HSG Startseite im Videobereich, im Newsroom ( sowie direkt über den YouTube-Kanal: Parallel hierzu hat die HSG einen neuen Themenschwerpunkt zu «Entrepreneurship» veröffentlicht (, der diverse Beiträge zum Thema bündelt.

Mehr zum Thema: St. Gallen Startup Navigator

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Grichnik and Manuel Hess on developing the St.Gallen Startup Navigator, important inputs from successful entrepreneurs and the four blocks at the centre of the tool. The tool was developed in the interplay of evidence-based science and practical experience. More on topic:


Startup Navigator book launch

On 17.01.2018 the Chair for Entrepreneurship celebrated the launch of the new book “Startup Navigator” by Dietmar Grichnik, Manuel Heß, Diego Probst, Torben Antretter and Britta Pukall at the Univerity of St. Gallen.

Dietmar Grichnik and Manuel Heß gave insights into the genesis of the tool and the book. The St.Galler Startup Navigator is an intuitive, step-by-step approach that guides you by 4&20 cornerstones to take data driven decisions, to build and understand your business’ neural system.

A big thank you was given to all the contributors along the way, who have attributed to the book’s development. Among them, the milani design agency, the publisher Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch and the protagonists with their companies’ portrait in the book.

Since this week the Startup Navigator is available in book stores and online. You can order your copy directly with the publisher here:

“There is magic in every beginning” and the Startup Navigator is your guide to turn this magic into succeeding rough waters and markets of your endeavour. We wish you a good start, a good read and most of all entrepreneurial success!

Startup Navigator website online: Discover the interactive Navigator now

The St.Galler Startup Navigator teaches you how to systematically create your business. On the Startup Navigator website you could learn how to apply the Navigator to your own venture. Design startups that are better, faster, and more sustainable with the insights from entrepreneurship research and successful entrepreneurs.

What makes the Startup Navigator unique

4&20 Steps + 66 Tools

The Startup Navigator provides you with a step-by-step process on how to start a business. Over 66 tools and methods help you to grow your venture systematically.


The combination of evidence-based research and practical knowledge from leading entrepreneurs and industry experts maximizes your chances of success.

Data-driven decisions

We believe in data-driven decision making from the very beginning. The Startup Cockpit will help you to make early business judgments based on facts instead of believes.

Startup Navigator Handbook

The Startup Navigator Handbook is a practical book which builds on cutting-edge entrepreneurship research and best practices of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Europe.

Learn how to apply the Startup Cockpit with detailed exercises to make sure that your business decisions are based on facts instead of opinions and believes.

What others say about the book

»Startups sollten zeigen können, welche Mechanismen ihrem Geschäftsmodell zugrunde liegen und wie sie diese aktiv verändern können. Wie das geht, zeigt der St.Galler Startup Navigator.«

Dr. Florian Heinemann, Gründer und Partner bei Project A, Berlin


You could buy the Startup Navigator Handbook here.

Discover the Startup Navigator website now: Click here.

"And there is magic in every beginning" Hermann Hesse - Startup Navigator Website NOW ONLINE!

Beyond the widespread entrepreneurship romance and startup honeymoon, the St.Galler Startup NavigatorTM primarily provides a systematic guide to avoid slipping into the trap of failure after initial euphoria.

By taking off the startup runway with the Navigator’s Startup Cockpit, your chances of success are increasing. The Startup Cockpit leads the chronologically oriented implementation of your business idea. It guides you through the main Navigator phases of Profiling, Prototyping, Sourcing, and Scaling. The beginning of an affair!

Profiling of your customer(s) leads you to judge if there is a valid problem-solution fit. Starting from your individual motivation as an entrepreneur, you develop a unique solution that solves the customer problem by fulfilling the problem’s painful jobs.

If you have previously identified a problem that it is worth solving (problem-solution fit), you now need a product that is worth buying. Prototyping guides you the way towards the product-market fit. This is the sweet spot of the Startup Navigator.

Sourcing orchestrates the necessary resources for the startup execution (execution fit): Co-creation combines the team resources with partners in your network. By defining requirements, intellectual property (IP) and your affordable loss (risk compass), a call to action can be formulated and translated into a clear roadmap. Ready for scaling!

Scaling closes the magical circle with a performance-oriented business model (performance fit). Funds required for your undertaking are negotiated with investors in terms of a potential deal and exit strategy.

For more information on the St.Galler Startup Navigator browse our Website, get the tool here, buy the book (yet in German) and make an account to stay up to date!


Black Friday News: Schon 660 Vorbestellungen des Startup Navigators. Merke Dir jetzt Dein Buchexemplar vor!

Pitch St. Galler Startup Navigator:

9 von 10 ambitionierten Startups scheitern. Diese Quote kann niemanden zufriedenstellen. Der Center for Entrepreneurship der Universität St.Gallen kombiniert das Wissen ausgewiesener Experten der Startup-Szene mit evidenzbasierter Forschung mit dem Ziel, diese Quote nachweislich zu verbessern. Die einmalige Allianz weltweit anerkannter Forschung mit den Besten ihres Fachs in den Startup-Ökosystemen Berlin, Silicon Valley und der Schweiz spiegelt sich in unserem Tool und Buch der St.Galler Startup NavigatorTM wider.

Der St.Galler Startup Navigator besticht durch:

- „4&20“ Schritte: In 4 Blöcken mit 20 Schritten auf dem Fast-Track zu einem Startup von der individuellen Motivation der Gründer zur internationalen Skalierung. Im magischen Kreisel von Profiling, Prototyping, Sourcing und Scaling lernt der Gründer mit diesem Prozesstool zu wachsen und sein Startup besser und besser zu verstehen.

- Evidenzbasis: Der St. Galler Startup Navigator verbindet Insights aus der Entrepreneurship-Forschung und Best-Practise-Empfehlungen unserer Partnerunternehmen. Darunter sind Airbnb, Doodle, Hyperloop, Outfittery, Rocket Internet, u.v.m.

- Datensteuerung: Fakten statt Glauben! Mit dem Startup Cockpit regen wir Gründer dazu an, Entscheidungen auf Basis der von uns zur Verfügung gestellten Tools von Anfang an anhand messbarer Parameter und KPIs zu treffen.

Startup Navigator – das Erfolgstool nachvollziehbar und systematisch erläutert, mit einem großen Fundus an Bildmaterial aus realen Anwendungsprojekten und Fallstudien. Für alle Gründerinnen und Gründer!

Autoren: Dietmar Grichnik, Manuel Hess, Diego Probst, Torben Antretter, Britta Pukall

Startup Navigator Das Handbuch

Veröffentlichungsdatum: Dezember 2017, Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch
Sprache: Deutsch
Preis: 29,90 €
Format: Paperback, Querformat, Innenteil vierfarbig, ca. 240 Seiten
ISBN: 978-3-95601-221-1

Co-Founder: It’s a match! Caution when choosing a partner!

Founder find their co-founder in most of the cases directly in the social environment. This can be colleagues, friends or relatives, who give all their enthusiasm to the same idea and want to realize it. A good founding team is worth a mint but many fail because next to enthusiasm, coordination processes are neglected. This article should help founders choose the right co-founder and give ideas about a clear distribution of roles between various co-founders.

At the beginning, it is important on the one hand co-founders have various, complementary skills. If both do have the same capabilities, the added value will be comparatively low and it is reasonable to ask why to hand over 50 per cent of the business shares. Every individual must find his role in the business with their own individual core skills regardless if the co-founders have a university degree in the same field.

On the other hand, having one founding team’s value system is necessary. Constant conflicts of interest arise where different perceptions concerning elementary things as liability or punctuality dominate. The initial euphoria often covers up the different opinions, which distill little by little when the company starts growing and professionalizing. In this situation, the question has to be asked whether the founding team actually matches.

Complementary skills and a joint value system are decisive factors

A structured process with predetermined and standard criteria(s) can avoid unpleasant surprises. Does the company have the right vision? What about the commitment of every individual? Are fees and funds from perquisites, which are earned during working hours, awarded to the company or to the co-founder? A check list with eleven issues at the end of this article, which was drawn up by myself, can serve as a guide for things like company shares, voting rights, profit distributions, salaries and perquisites. There is no right or wrong but it is more important to discuss these things in advance.

Moreover, it is helpful to discover in a kind of trial period if agreeing on a common denominator is possible in a long-term period. It would be wrong to look for a business, print stationary and rooms for rent at the first place.

Different skills, a joint value system and a definition of collaboration are namely important, but individual priorities and commitment can change over the time. Periodic strategy meetings do not only help to clarify where one wants the company to be in the future but also where the founder partnership stands. In doing so, special developments in the private area like spouses or the desire to have children and thus the changing priorities play a decisive role. Here, the journey becomes the destination by talking about it periodically and working on a goal collectively.

Co-founder must function as a team and set the pace

The co-founder team must be the closest form of unity, independently from the business model. From my perspective, approximately 80 per cent of all founder teams are dysfunctional because the distribution of roles, the line of approach and the decision-making are not defined properly. In many cases, this makes it very hard for employees and is comparable with the parenting, where mother and father pursue different educational concepts. One’s decision whom to contact is depending on the specific situation and the expectation, whom of them is giving the right answer.

Like in a rowing team, the co-founder must set the place bindingly and collectively. But only very few succeed in doing so: co-founders spend too little time together to discuss the impact direction of the company, which is based on the business model and the organizational unit. This is due to the various personalities: While one pre-structures a lot, the other one wants to get started right away.

Founders also need management skills

When founders feel persistent dissatisfaction, they often struggle with naming where this feeling comes from. For instance, this finds expression in not enjoying going to work anymore or in shirking necessary tasks like appraisal interviews. If this behavior is noticed within oneself or one’s co-founder, an immediate action is needed, for example discussing what could be changed or getting help from an expert.

The founder’s tasks change a lot over time. At the beginning, a “maker” is needed, who establishes the company and afterwards the tasks change very quickly. At some point, the managerial role is required, which implies optimizing the details and leading the teams. However, many founders are bored of this task very quickly and do not feel like doing things such as appraisal interviews or motivating the team. At this point, it is all about figuring out if it is just a lean period or to pave the way and decide who the company needs at this position.

At the end of the day it is a personal decision if someone is not happy in the company anymore and decides to commit oneself to a new project. Nevertheless, the co-founder should be the person with whom the problem is discussed with prematurely and a solution is searched instead of facing him or her with a fait accompli. When someone struggles with the current situation and must think seriously about how to continue this, it is important to initiate a joint process. If required, external support can be useful if emotional topics are discussed. This expert should be a person that should not deal with the company in any other way.

If single founder or founding team: One person has the say

The advantage of single founders is the clear, encompassing responsibility. Even in the case of two or three founders, there should be one person who has the encompassing responsibility for the company and whose original function is to care about the company’s future. The CEO needs a strategic foresight who is the visionary and main driver of the company.

Accordingly, I personally see the other co-founders in more passive roles. This approach might not be very popular, but in my opinion, it is more sustainable. The person in the founding team, who puts the pressure on, speaks about conflicts, questions processes and structures and pushes issues is in most cases the company’s CEO and should have more decision ruling. In the end, upcoming decisions have to be made by the CEO, not by overruling his or her co-founders but challenging them at eye level, questioning the status quo and recognizing, when the co-founders reach the boundaries. For the very big decisions, the CEO sometimes needs a sparring partner and he has to think if he engages someone external.

For everyone the right role within the team

Every team member should be honest and question him- or herself if they have the required potential and skills for a role of a manager or CEO or if they should stay in their role and their field of expertise. This role distribution will happen over time. A lot of people emphasize that everyone is eye-to-eye level to each other, however most of times that is not the case because they do not have the same expertise or personalities. In some situations, not everyone can achieve as much as someone else, and in other situations the roles are reversed. Everyone should be working in the field where they can maximize their potential. That is why I think not everyone can have the same position in a freshly found firm, not everyone can practice the same role and that is why not everyone should be responsible for the final decisions made for the company.

Checklist: Guideline with eleven issues for founding teams

  1. Salary
  2. Title
  3. Side activities
  4. Investment
  5. Vesting
  6. Company shares/voting rights/decisions
  7. Case of death
  8. Pregnancy
  9. Right of first refusal
  10. Role
  11. Further training / education

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For more Insights see my Book Entrepreneurial Living - Find Brothers and Sisters in arms - Team (you) up! ... Download here!

Professor Dietmar Grichnik joins the Editorial Board of JBV - Journal of Business Venturing

Dietmar Grichnik has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the prestigious Journal of Business Venturing (JBV). With an impact factor of 5.774 (5-year impact factor 8.284) the JBV is the leading field journal in entrepreneurship and among the Financial Times TOP50 management journals.

The Journal of Business Venturing: A Journal Dedicated to Entrepreneurship provides a scholarly forum for sharing useful and interesting theories, narratives, and interpretations of the antecedents, mechanisms, and/or consequences of entrepreneurship.

This multi-disciplinary, multi-functional, and multi-contextual journal aspires to deepen our understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomenon in its myriad of forms. The journal publishes entrepreneurship research from (1) the disciplines of economics, psychology, and sociology and welcomes research from other disciplines such as anthropology, geography, history, and so on, (2) the functions of finance/accounting, management, marketing, and strategy and welcomes research from other functions such as operations, information technology, public policy, medicine, law, music, and so on, and (3) the contexts of international and sustainability (environmental and social) and welcomes research from other contexts such as high uncertainty, dynamism, time pressured, emotional, and so on.

Meet Professor Dr. Dietmar Grichnik and Manuel Hess from the University St. Gallen on the Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 in Berlin ...

Entrepreneurship Summit 2017

Those starting a business are quite familiar with the complicated process - until, eventually, they have created a well-balanced entrepreneurial design. Whoever wants to learn more about the methods of creative startup culture, should visit the Entrepreneurship Summit. Roughly 100 speakers are scheduled to share their expertise in keynotes, groups, and workshops. Let successful entrepreneurs inspire you and join 1000 like-minded visitors in gaining valuable insights.

Discover your potential. Be an entrepreneur.

The Entrepreneurship Summit presents start-ups and entrepreneurs from our network – both as role models, and as advisors and/or partners in the debate over new ideas. Our experience shows that it is, above all, younger start-ups and business personalities who can move and motivate their peers to re-direct their thinking – e.g. in the direction of entrepreneurship. The event has become increasingly popular: In 2009 about 900 participants registered – the weekend in 2015 showed a daily attendance of about 1700.

From the beginning, the summit focused on presenting methods and techniques of formulating a thorough and sustainable business concept. Those starting a business are quite familiar with the complicated process - until, eventually, they have created a well-balanced entrepreneurial design. Participants at the Entrepreneurship Summit will be enabled to initiate a business in concept-creative terms, to develop business model innovations, and to utilize the component model.

Other, seemingly similar events devoted to the methodology of starting a business tend to focus on topics such as “Sponsoring Start-Ups”, “High-Tech”, “Research and Development”. By contrast to such formats, our Summit emphasizes knowledge-based start-ups – a crucial difference to issues such as the classic independent entrepreneur, arts & crafts, or merely technological businesses. At the same time, though, the Summit can be a supplement to the other formats.

Das Video zum Event:

Entrepreneurial drive is something many companies try to nurture, but can it really be taught?

They are rich beyond imagination, their lives the stuff of fairy tales: Howard Schultz, lifted out of extreme poverty by his love of coffee; the late Steve Jobs, given up for adoption by his single mother; and Jack Ma, who tells how he applied for 30 jobs in his youth and was rejected for all of them.

Many famous entrepreneurs, the ones with staggering wealth and the most compelling backstories, are the tall poppies who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, striding out alone on their risky missions while the rest of the world marvels at their success.

When such stories capture the headlines, it is hardly surprising that so many people think that entrepreneurs are born, not made. But this idea is increasingly under attack by mounting evidence from the world’s universities and business schools, which are increasingly embracing the idea that entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial mindset can be taught.

The first step toward nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset is to explode the myth of the “hero” entrepreneur, says Professor Dietmar Grichnik, the first chair of entrepreneurship at the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland. It’s something he takes very seriously.

“With my students—whether they be Executive MBA, MBA, masters or doctorate, undergraduate or postgraduate—I seek to demystify entrepreneurship and expose the biased thinking about hero entrepreneurs that persists. We definitely know from research we conduct, and from that done elsewhere, that entrepreneurship is something you can absolutely learn. The success drivers for entrepreneurship are knowledge and experience.”

Grichnik, who has written a book called Entrepreneurial Living, also offers a wake-up call for anyone taking his courses who is motivated solely by financial gain.

“Successful entrepreneurs are mainly driven not by money, but by love of their product, and by wanting to make an impact and change the world,” he says. “Today’s students might like to drive a Ferrari someday, but they want to make an impact.”

Another misconception Grichnik is keen to dispel is the popular modern idea that entrepreneurship is all about consumer products or services—the Mark Zuckerberg effect that has everyone dreaming of creating the next Facebook.

“If you look at the 500 fastest-growing companies in the United States, for example, you see that only 10—15 percent of them are business-to-consumer, and the majority are business-to-business,” he says.


Read the full article at: