VENTURE CAPITALIST RELATIONSHIPS IN THE DEAL STRUCTURING AND POST-INVESTMENT STAGES OF NEW FIRM CREATION

Authors


Address for reprints: Lloyd Steier, Department of Organizational Analysis, Faculty of Business, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6C 2R6, Canada.

ABSTRACT

Entrepreneurs often turn to outsiders for financial assistance. Venture capitalists represent an outside source of finance that generally takes an active interest in managing the firm. Two common practices within the venture capital industry are co-investing and staged financing. Responding to the call for more process research which examines the deal structuring and post-investment stages of venture capital involvement, this research utilized a case study approach to explore salient features and themes that emerged in a relationship involving entrepreneurs and multiple co-investors in a new firm start-up. Central findings of the study included: penetrating the venture capital network is a significant first step in securing financial resources and, intriguingly, relationships supersede business plans in securing these resources; paradoxically, venture capitalists establish milestones and tight time-lines yet inadvertently contribute to many of the delays experienced by a start-up firm; the operating logic of venture capital networks, constrained by the hierarchical structures of their constituents, may be incompatible with the needs of a start-up firm; activities within the deal structuring and post-investment stages are more dynamic and iterative than current models suggest; and, staged financing, when combined with multiple venture partners, requires a clear understanding of each party's collaborative role in the enterprise.

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