© 2019

Political Entrepreneurship

How to Build Successful Centrist Political Start-ups

  • Demonstrates how political entrepreneurs can drive political change

  • Presents tools and methods for successful political entrepreneurship

  • Offers first-hand insights into the successes of En Marche in France, Ciudadanos in Spain, NEOS in Austria and other centrist political startups


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 1-14
  3. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 15-25
  4. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 27-36
  5. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 37-45
  6. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 47-60
  7. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 61-78
  8. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 79-90
  9. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 91-108
  10. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 109-115
  11. Josef Lentsch
    Pages 117-133
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 141-149

About this book


This book demonstrates how political entrepreneurs – entrepreneurially minded citizens who launch innovative political start-ups – can drive political change. Building on unique insights, rich examples and personal stories of centrist political entrepreneurs distilled from 40 in-depth interviews, the author guides readers through key stages of political entrepreneurship, and shows how to master them. By equally highlighting successes and failures, the book reveals how political entrepreneurs actually go about producing transformative political change.
In light of the populist challenge and the decline of traditional political parties, the book also offers an entertaining backstage view and first-hand insights into the successes of En Marche in France, Ciudadanos in Spain, NEOS in Austria and other centrist political startups. It provides practical advice on how to learn from and replicate their successes. Political practitioners and other politically interested readers will find a useful theory of Political Entrepreneurship – what it is, how it works, and what its role is in 21st century democracies. Most of all, they will find essential, reproducible tools and methods.

“You have read a lot about startups in business, but if you want to know how Silicon Valley style startups look in politics, read this. Its author is not only writing about political entrepreneurs, he is one of them.”

Ivan Krastev (Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, and permanent Fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna)

“No one understands better what it takes to take a political start up from ideation to the parliament better than Josef Lentsch. In ‘Political Entrepreneurship’ he combines first-hand experience with a thoughtful review of what we know about entrepreneurship in the interest of society.”

Johanna Mair (Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership at the Hertie School of Governance, and Co-Director Global Innovation for Impact Lab at Stanford University)


Political entrepreneurship Political start-ups Political change Failure of political parties Social entrepreneurship Political leadership En Marche Cuidadanos Nowoczesna Momentum NEOS

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.NEOS LabViennaAustria

About the authors

Josef Lentsch is Founding Director of NEOS Lab, the party academy of NEOS in Vienna, Austria. He was a founding board member of NEOS.

Prior to that, he was the International Director for the Royal Society of Arts in London. He co-founded, managed and sold UNIPORT, Austria’s largest careers service for students and graduates.

He holds an MSc in Psychology from the University of Vienna, and an MPA in Public Administration from Harvard University. 

Bibliographic information