DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Klæstad, Ole Petter; Schei Høstmælingen, Gard; Keitsch, Martina
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Section: Responsible innovation in design and engineering education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.81
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


This study had the aim of finding sought after values in collaborations between start-ups and consultants from large agencies. It is placed in the context of Skills-based volunteering (SBV) and the initiation of a collaboration between the two parties, facilitated on a matchmaking two-sided platform, which is designed by the two first authors. The study tries respond to the following questions 1) why a platform immediate this cooperation and, 2) how to design for matching values to generate trust? The authors firstly discuss theory and empirical research regarding challenges of initial user acquisition to multi-sided platforms, as well as suggest strategies and tactics of how two-sided platforms can help to reduce the transaction cost of social interactions when forming a business relationship. User friendliness and the design of a platform that motivates users to share their knowledge and skills and ease interaction within an SBV setting are also investigated. A design project is being developed parallel to the theory part, focusing on developing a platform to facilitate more collaborations between start-ups and consultancies in Norway by creating mutual benefits. Findings of the study show that: 1) start-up’s need IT related competency, 2) companies (consultants) benefit from engaging in Skills-based volunteering, and 3) if start-ups want be the receiver of SBV they need to have a social component to their business (e.g. care about the environment, help the local community). The study contributes to design innovation since research and development are scarce in the area and the topical companies are relatively young. It also contributes to generate knowledge on how to improve, enhance and manifest SBV collaboration. This is also a topic for future design education, which should add more emphasis on collaborations between start-ups and consultancies and adjust education towards possibilities and trends SBV. Further research and evaluation for voluntary work and contribution to societal development by firms improve the quality in content and outcome of industrial design education.

Keywords: Matchmaking: start-ups: consultants: shared values: business initiation


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