The effectiveness of business coaching for technology-based, early-stage start-ups in increasing survival and performance

Research confirms that business coaching is core to most incubation and acceleration programmes. Business coaching combines aspects of teaching, training, mentoring, and consulting and creates a general support approach for early-stage technology ventures. It has been identified as a key attribute to the impact of an early-stage venture team’s performance.

This randomized controlled trial seeks to provide evidence for the effect of business coaching on technology-based venture teams. By recording the teams' survival and economic performance, the research aims to identify methods for increasing and improving the effectiveness of business coaching. A pragmatic two-armed randomized controlled trial will test the effect of business coaching on the survival capabilities of technology-based ventures. Over a period of three years, the trial will recruit 450 ventures from the German regional state Baden-Württemberg. The project delivery partner bwcon GmbH will provide accredited, experienced coaches who will impart tactical knowledge to the founder teams in the form of individual support sessions. The treatment group for this trial comprises of 150 startups, with around fifty teams subjected to the intervention each year. Another 300 ventures act as the control group, having not received business coaching. Each venture's development is tracked on a half yearly base. After three years, the trial will compare the ventures' survival capability.