Abstract: The aim of the article is to present an empirical analysis of the role of startups in the economy 4.0 The research was conducted in February-April 2020 in Poland. It has become important to identify how Poles perceive the role of startups in the 4.0 economy. The achievement of the goal was made possible by literature studies and a survey, the conduct of which made it possible to use a questionnaire made available on the Internet on social networks. The paper also presents a case study of a Krakow startup in which innovative solutions were applied on the online meal ordering market for employees. A case study of a startup operating in Poland makes it easier to understand the key function of a startup in the 4.0 economy thanks to its competences. Particular attention was paid to defining the concept of a startup, defining its features and financing sources. The information obtained shows that Poles' awareness of the importance of startups is at a good level, they understand the essence of this type of organization very well and see it as a great opportunity. They perceive startup as an innovative solution (business idea) that is needed in some industries that offer innovative products. The vast majority of the respondents associate startups with the IT industry and technologies, which is the right direction of thinking. The study shows that the quality of products for Poles is not only a determinant of the development of startups, but of all organizations. Managing the stream in the 4.0 economy requires respecting the assumptions of, inter alia, the concepts of knowledge management, corporate social responsibility, sustainable development or comprehensive quality management (TQM).
Keywords: startup, economy 4.0, innovations, digitization, technologies
Recieved: 05.01.2021 Accepted: 11.12.2021 UDC: 330.341.1