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Abstract

  • Founders' human capital and venture capital (VC) are two fundamental ingredients for new venture success in high-tech sectors. We jointly investigate their influence on the growth performance of a large sample of Italian high-tech start-ups and find:

  • the importance of both components;

  • some characteristics of founders' human capital also exert an indirect rather than a direct effect on growth by attracting VC;

  • the ‘coach’ function performed by Italian venture capitalists on invested companies is important;

  • a substitution rather than a complementary relationship exists between these two drivers of firm growth.

Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.