The Start-up Context MapA Case Survey

  • Get a structured overview of your own engineering process!
    Reflect on what engineering practices your start-up is already using and get ideas for improvements.
  • Let others benefit from your experience!
    Share your experience on product engineering. From this information we aim to devise best engineering practices and put them in a repository.
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The Start-up Context Map
is an non-profit, open and community driven projectWe are researchers aiming to improve software engineering in start-ups:

  • Software Engineering Research Lab Sweden
  • Software start-up research network

Engineering practices from established companies are not suited for start-ups. They attempt to address challenges that are not present in start-ups while ignoring start-up specific engineering challenges.

The Start-up Context Map is the first step towards start-up specific engineering practices.

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The Start-up Context Map
has multiple use scenarios for both start-ups and researchers



The Start-up Context Map is a taxonomy categorising engineering practices, goals and environment factors.


Body of knowledge

The Start-up Context Map categorises relevant research regarding engineering in start-ups creating a body of knowldege.


Support for researchers

As a researcher you can use the map to identify gaps for further research. Use the taxonomy to characterise context of your studies. By contributing to the map you expose yourself as an expert on the topic and help start-ups to discover your cutting-edge results.


Support for start-ups

As a start-up you can use the map to have an overview of engineering practices and goals so you do not overlook anything important and have an access to latest research concering engineering in start-ups.

About the project

Team behind the Start-up Contex Map

Eriks Klotins
Eriks Klotins

A PhD student of Softwate Engineering at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH). The focus of his thesis is software engineering practices in start-ups. He has over nine years of experience in managing software development projects ranging from large government IT systems to small start-ups.

team member
Dr. Michael Unterkalmsteiner

A postdoctoral researcher at Blekinge Institute of Technology. His research focus is application and improvement of processes and tools that support the coordination of software development activities, in particular related to requirements engineering and testing.

team member
Dr. Tony Gorschek

A Professor of Software Engineering at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) and part time at Chalmers. He has over ten years industrial experience as a CTO, senior executive consultant and engineer, but also as chief architect and product manager. In addition he has built up five startups in fields ranging from logistics to internet based services.

Our goal

Software start-ups are new companies aiming to launch an innovative product to mass markets fast with minimal resources. However a majority of start-ups fail before realizing their potential. Poor software engineering, among other factors, could be a significant contributor to the challenges experienced by start-ups.

Very little is known about the engineering context in start-up companies. On the surface, start-ups are characterized by uncertainty, high risk and minimal resources. However, such characterization is not granular enough to support identification of specific engineering challenges and to devise start-up specific engineering practices.

The first step towards understanding on software engineering in start-ups is definition of the Start-up Context Map - a taxonomy of engineering practices, environment factors and goals influencing the engineering process. Goal of the Start-up Context Map is to support further research on the field and to serve as an engineering decision support tool for start-ups.

About the tool

The Start-up Context Map is a continuous work in progress. For this reason we have created this online tool supporting collaboration and continuous development of the map.

The Start-up Context Map tool is aimed to become a central repository listing start-up specific context factors, systematized start-up experience reports and expert advice on best engineering practices. Through use of the Start-up Context Map tool you can:

  1. Get an overview of start-up goals, environment factors and engineering practices.
  2. Receive support for selecting adequate goals and engineering practices through granular descriptions of context factors.
  3. Learn about others experiece with a specitfic factor through systematized start-up experience reports.
  4. Improve the map by sharing your opinon, first-hand experience or adding relevant researh results.