Are Venture Capitalists a Catalyst for Innovation?


  • We are grateful to Luisa Alemany, Laura Bottazzi, John Doukas (the Editor), José Marti and an anonymous referee for stimulating comments. Correspondence: Stefano Caselli.


In this paper we test two hypotheses concerning the presence of innovation in venture capital investments and the growth of innovative venture backed firms. To examine these hypotheses we considered sample of 37 Italian venture backed firms that went public on the Italian Stock Exchange between 1995 and 2004 and by a statistical matching procedure we picked 37 twin firms among the non-venture backed IPOs for the same period. Our evidence shows that innovation is an important factor during the selection phase but once the investment is made, the company does not promote continued innovation and concentrates all efforts to improve other economic and managerial aspects.