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Innovationsgesellschaft heute: Mojem, Lars

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TU Berlin

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Lars Mojem

Research Project

The start-up scene as a context and the pitch presentation as a format and genre of reflexive innovation

In the public perception hardly any other form of business is as closely associated with innovation as start-ups. Usually, start-ups are dependent on outside parties, especially investors, taking an interest in their company and ideally financing it. For communicating their business idea, startups usually use the format of pitches, i.e. a specific form of presentation of the business idea. 

The dissertation project addresses precisely this specific communicative phenomenon, which is omnipresent in connection with start-ups. It focuses on the start-up pitch as an institution of reflexive innovation and aims to define it as a communicative genre. It aims to determine functions pitches have for startup ecosystems. This leads to various questions: Which communicative problem can pitches solve from the point of view of the actors involved? How are corresponding contexts being created by heterogeneous actors? How are innovativeness and novelty represented in the pitches?

The project investigates the context of pitches in a twofold manner: On the one hand, it refers to the immediate context of action in which the pitches take place as a sequential order of communicative actions. On the other hand, context also means the social structures in which pitches and events involving pitching emerge, i.e. the structural interrelations and networks of relevant actors. 

Methodologically, the investigation applies a "focused ethnography" and combines video analysis of start-up pitches with field trips and interviews with actors in the field. 

Areas of research

  • General Sociology and Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of Knowledge and Sociology of Culture
  • Qualitative Research
  • Innovation and Communication

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