Green-Tech: Bio-fuels High Growth Strategy
(6 pages of text)
Green-Tech Inc., a Canadian company founded in 2006, was dedicated to developing, manufacturing, and marketing portable and stationary systems for the production of bio-oils and bio-char from biomass residues and wastes. Green-Tech was a recent spinoff from a large university research centre with a very good reputation for providing bio-energy solutions. Although focused and well positioned, Green-Tech had to manage relationships with large companies such as Shell that controlled vast and complete supply chains of oil-related businesses, as well as small firms and clients that were unable to manage their waste effectively. Large firms could provide plenty of business opportunities for Green-Tech, but could also jeopardize the company’s autonomy. Small customers on their own might not bring in enough cash flow, but could give Green-Tech sufficient freedom to pursue its own strategic goals. Both relationships seemed to lead to a promising future for this entrepreneurial start-up company, but also created serious risks. At the time of the case in 2011, Fernando Bruteque, vice president and one of the principal engineers of Green-Tech, was seeking the appropriate growth approach for Green-Tech. Being in charge of business operations, Bruteque also had to maintain a balance between research and development (R&D), investor and client concerns, and business opportunities. What would be the appropriate growth strategies and business operation strategies for a resource-constrained firm such as Green-Tech? How should it proceed?
This case was developed for use in entrepreneurship, international business, and strategic management courses. It is suitable for MBA, EMBA, and advanced undergraduate HBA programs. This case makes students aware of the challenges entrepreneurs may face while also acknowledging the tremendous opportunities that innovative technology brings. The case is structured to illustrate the following:
- The nature of an R&D-centered, entrepreneurial start-up company
- New technology and new market drivers and competition.
- The dilemmas small start-up firms usually face.
- Corporate growth strategy.
- “The learning-by-doing process.”
- The challenges and importance of start-up cash flow and acquiring quality resources.
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Ontario, Canada, Small, 2011
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