Exit strategies of startups – drivers and effects

Key Info

Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler
Bachelor; Master


  • Lisa Fischer

In contrast to established companies, the exit of young startups is a desirable event to capitalize the shares of founders and investors. Acquisitions and IPOs are the most prominent and attractive exit events for startups. Exit events are by no means a coincidence. They are deliberately chosen and pursued through exit strategies. But how can the desired exit be achieved? What are the influencing factors and what happens afterwards?
The aim of the thesis is to analyze these core questions and to support founders and investors with actionable recommendations.

The specific thesis question can be developed together. Possible examples would be:
- What are the drivers for a startup exit (e.g. focus on acquisitions or IPO)?
- What influence do the founders:inside have on the exit probability of their startups?
- What impact do startup exits have on the performance and the founders of startups?

What's in for you?
- Access to a large secondary dataset of startups and founders, if needed
- Ongoing personal mentoring and coaching
- In-depth insights into research on this cutting-edge topic
- Contacts within the startup scene

Literature for initial reading:
Cefis, E., Bettinelli, C., Coad, A., & Marsili, O. (2022). Understanding firm exit: a systematic literature review. Small Business Economics, 59(2), 423-446.
Cotei, C., & Farhat, J. (2018). The M&A exit outcomes of new, young firms. Small Business Economics, 50(3), 545-567.
Cumming, D., Deloof, M., Manigart, S., & Wright, M. (2019). New directions in entrepreneurial finance. Journal of Banking & Finance, 100, 252-260.

Keywords: Disruptive Innovations, Disruption, Startups, Entrepreneurship