The Cookbook for Successful Internal Startups

the_cookbook_for_successful_Internal_startupsThe cookbook for successful internal startups was launched on 26th of April 2016. The book can be downloaded from

Companies and research institutions in Digile’s Need for Speed-program ( ) wrote this book as a joint project. Idea for the cookbook was born in late 2014 and the goal was that experiences from building and running internal startups should be collected into one useful package. In the beginning of 2015 we held an Open space session with N4S participants to collect ideas and experiences around the topic. Our lean book writing process moved well to have it’s first draft by February and a workshop to complement it on March 2015. After this Jukka Märijärvi wrote a more thorough draft around the topics. Meanwhile, we also started to collect case stories of how companies in Finland had utilized internal startups in creating new product innovations. Writing was lacking behind but stories started to pile up. Finally, in November 2015 we came together to Tampere for one weekend of intensive writing. All together ten people sat down and put on paper all they knew about internal startups. Within 45 hours, we had more than 70 pages of material for the book. Then, in the following months, editing, language check, and graphics and design were done.

So what is this cookbook all about?

The book is formed to give the basic knowledge on the concept of internal startups after which you get concrete advice on how to build and manage internal startups. In the beginning, we present a short overview on startups, and what is special about them. After all, you can’t “act like a startup” unless you know how they act. The following chapters talk about how internal startup should be implemented, what aspects need to covered, and how to prepare rest of the organization to support the internal startup. One chapter also covers the life cycle aspect of internal startups as we as what alternatives there may be. Case stories are added into each chapter and they tell stories of internal startups in known companies. We have included them to give real life examples of successes and hardships encountered when seeking to do something new. At the end of the book, we have a collection of recipes that give concise advice for you to start cooking your own successful internal startup.
We hope you read and use this book. And if you do, we would be happy to hear about your experiences! If you have questions or comments on the book, internal startups, or writing a book in one weekend, contact Laura Hokkanen (

Text: Laura Hokkanen

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