Venture Capital Support and Entrepreneurial Autonomy How Do Venture Capitalists and Business Angels affect Young Entrepreneurial (growth) strategies?

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This explorative study aims to determine to what extent informal and formal venture capitalists influence the growth strategy of start-ups and if there is a difference in the degree of influence between informal and formal venture capitalists. The objective of this research led us to the following research question: “To what extent and if applicable, how do venture capital investors affect the growth strategies of start-ups?” Semi-structured interviews have been held with 11 start-ups. Six start-ups were funded by informal venture capitalists and five were by formal venture capitalists. The data has been coded per theme and analysed accordingly. The results show that both informal- and formal venture capitalists influence the growth strategy of start-ups investigated in this research. However, informal- and formal investors do this in their own way. The results indicate that formal venture capitalists generally try to influence a start-up’s growth strategy to a larger extent than informal venture capitalists. This is by co-developing the strategy with the entrepreneur or focusing on a specific industry. Additionally, start-ups funded by formal venture capitalists are very optimistic about their experiences with formal venture capitalists. Therefore, it contradicts some of many entrepreneurs' negative thoughts about them.
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