From Academic Design Science Research to Start-up: Building a Digital Platform Ecosystem to Promote a Sustainable Knowledge Co-Creating Community




Knowledge Creation, Digital Platform Ecosystem, Digital transformation, Knowledge Management System, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Design Science Research, Sustainable Development, Tech for Good


As the new digital era is accompanied by accelerating change, people as well as institutions need to adapt and transform. Crucial for their success is how well leaders can cultivate the absorption and sharing of knowledge as a resource and its integration into the organisational endeavours. Innovative system designs may prove vital to providing crucial support.

Based on a prior academic design science research project and published outputs, a recently established start-up aims to create a digital community platform for knowledge co-creation to serve members with diverse ambitions and potentials in their personal and collaborative contexts. The digital platform ecosystem follows a novel knowledge management approach by favouring personalization, mobility, generativity, and entropy reduction. How to sustainably address the inherent system complexities and scaling needs in an entrepreneurial environment known for short iterative cycles of minimum viable developments have proven to be an expected challenge, closely followed by the limited power of academic detail and lingo to create enthusiasm in start-up spaces where attention slots are measured in pitch decks and elevator rides.

This paper looks at this particular case and at the lessons learnt in the transition phase from academia to a business incubation space and, hence, aims to contribute to the discourse between scholars, practitioners, and clients on how digital entrepreneurship and innovation spaces may be best served for mutual benefit.