A case study on the lean startup method and the startup CLAY developing its business and product

  • Niklas Linß (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Launching a business is risky and most startups statistically fail. A few years ago, a concept with the name Lean Startup emerged intending to increase startup’s chances of success. The framework is a process of developing businesses and products based on customer feedback, which is nowadays commonly taught in entrepreneurship education. However, the methodology of the Lean Startup is a theoretical concept and previous research showed limitations in practice. When using it for venture creation, many factors must be considered to avoid potential shortcomings.This dissertation aims to determine how the concept of the Lean Startup can be applied in thereal world. Specifically, the case study of a German startup serves as a pedagogical tool tounderstand real-life methods of developing businesses and products. The teaching note presents assignment questions to analyze the case study. The tools and practices introduced in the theoretical framework are used to critically examine the methods applied by the startup. The author provides sample answers which identify conformity with the Lean Startup principles, but the results also imply several shortcomings. Finally, this dissertation should inspire future founders, allow students to learn from mistakes and overall, contribute to entrepreneurship education.
Date of Award28 Apr 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJosé Manuel Vasconcelos Silva e Sousa (Supervisor)


  • Lean startup methodology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Customer development
  • Opportunity identification
  • Case study
  • Intellectual property
  • Crowdfunding


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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