Acceleralia, the design of a digital platform for corporate acceleration: the case study of PICVISA


Guardiet Mas, Joan Anton


Akhmedova, Anna

Pierrakis, Yannis ORCID

Date of defense



395 p.


Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. Departament d'Economia i Organització d'Empreses


The aim of this thesis is twofold: being an industrial doctorate, the first two parts of the manuscript are centred around data analysis and interpretation of the impact of technology on the current situation in real-world companies regarding corporate acceleration. In the final part, actual implementation was conducted to test the tool created with all the knowledge gathered during the data collection period. Fast-paced technological change creates a major uncertainty for companies, making innovation a factor that has to be considered in every decision as the reality of today may not be the reality of tomorrow. Understanding how leading and mid-market companies structure this process and face the aforementioned challenge is essential to be able to shine light on what are the best practices that help enterprises succeed. As innovation is an extremely broad field, the decision was taken to center on corporate acceleration, both inhouse and in the form of collaboration with start-ups. Moreover, technology plays a critical role, not only being the driver of change, but in many cases the means by which companies can make significant improvements—consequently it plays an important role in this thesis. The research questions that are answered follow the logic of going from broad to a narrow topic, as at the beginning the impact of technology is studied on corporate acceleration and other forms of innovation, then diving deeper into the following research question as to what are the challenges that real companies face and what could be a possible approach to finally designing that solution and implementing a pilot program with a corporation. This research should provide the necessary information and guidance into the subject and enable the reader to comprehend the theoretical and practical impacts of corporate acceleration and the role that technology could play in improving it. The first research question revolves around the impact of technology on corporate acceleration; here six different tech products have been analysed in detail to understand their influence on the change of behaviour of corporations. Moreover, data from more than 100 corporate accelerations were studied to extract the trends that have the highest correlation to successful corporate entrepreneurship programs. Key success factors with statistical importance are: selection process, data tracking via metrics, physical presence (research was done pre-Covid), significant batch size, and the ability to attract a corporate partner. Interestingly, technology does not appear as a success factor per se, yet it is the channel that enables proper communication and consequently is of great importance. Furthermore, 20 companies were examined in detail via interviews, and public and private data analyses and their innovation process is described in detail in order to find common denominators of the factors that companies are doing, which do not have the capability to run a corporate acceleration program. The following research question looks into further detail of what features are crucial for successful elimination of the challenges that are faced by enterprises which engage into the process of corporate acceleration; to correctly identify them, over 170 companies were some were interviewed, and all completed a questionnaire that provided a sense of what is the market condition regarding the importance of innovation, in particular via corporate acceleration. From this feedback a digital acceleration tool was designed as an outcome. The name of the tool is Acceleralia, and it was designed to help companies, big and small, run internal or external acceleration programs and to facilitate the process of innovation via technology. The final research question is centered around the real implementation of this tool with the company PICVISA, a subsidiary of Group Calaf, a construction conglomerate with over 10 subsidiaries and 500 employees. After a highly satisfactory implementation of one of the three pilots the tool is currently undergoing an overview process to be implemented in other subsidiaries of the same group and at the same time it is already being commercialized with currently over 20 companies and organizations completing the onboarding process, one of which is the university UIC. Although this industrial PhD has followed a classic format, thanks to this research, we want to highlight two aspects: 1- Acceleralia has been launch as a legal company in Spain, with 1,000 projects implemented, 22 people involved from 10 nationalities, several investors, public grants from CDTI and ENISA and more than 600,000€ invested. More info at: 2- Three papers published: 1- The first at the prestigious journal Business & Entrepreneurship, published by Scientific Press International Limited established in 2010, a publisher of the highest standards international scientific journals and books. Link: DOI number: 2- The second at The Case Centre, as independent home of the case method, inspiring and transforming business education worldwide. Here we have published the successful PICVISA’s pilot as a teaching business case: (Click here), once registered: a. Picvisa case study real outcome (Case) with reference 822-0047-1 b. Picvisa case study real outcome (Teaching note) with ref. 822-0047-8 c. Picvisa case study real outcome (Media support) with ref.822-0047-4 3- The third at a leading publication in the world of business management, which brings together articles by national and international experts on management-related topics. This publication at Harvard Deusto Business Review has been published this July, 2022. On this link you can see the article.


Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Acceleration; Incubation; Corporate acceleration; Business; Growth; Disruption; Corporate venturing


65 - Communication and transport industries. Accountancy. Business management. Public relations

Knowledge Area



Tesi Joan Anton Guardiet Mas.pdf




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