The effect of the network position of a venture capitalist on start-up innovativeness

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The purpose of this thesis is to empirically test how the network position of a venture capitalist (VC) influences the innovative performance of their portfolio companies in high-tech and low-tech industries. The obtained data was accessed through Crunchbase databases and consists of 157 pharmaceutical (high-tech) start-ups and 69 retail (low-tech) start-ups, separated into two samples by means of their technology intensity. Two linear regression analyses were executed and compared to test the main hypotheses. Findings show that start-ups in low-tech industries report higher innovative performance when collaborating with VCs with strong ties to other VCs. In addition, start-ups collaborating with VCs with higher number of weak ties report negative effects on their innovative performance. This implies that start-ups are more innovative when collaborating with VCs with strong ties. Significance of all mentioned effects have only been reported in the low-tech industry sample. Contribution of this thesis is to decrease ongoing entrepreneurial confusion by shedding light on the theoretical debate over network position effects. In addition, it provides entrepreneurs with an understanding of what implications selecting a VC has for their innovative performance.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen