Understanding the factors driving the successful founding of new firms is a subject of ongoing interest. We link prestart-up experience and intentions of nascent entrepreneurs to the shape of the entrepreneurial gestation process and eventually to successful founding. By experience, we mean previous entrepreneurial activities, labor market experience, and formal education, and by intentions, we mean commitment and ability expectations. We test our predictions on a longitudinal data set that tracks nascent entrepreneurs' venture creation efforts over a five-year time span and find evidence supporting them. Against this background, our findings also show that when controlling for the possible endogeneity of the activities carried out, a later temporal concentration of organizing activities enhances the probability of successfully founding. Our research contributes to a better understanding of contextual antecedents of the shape of gestation process and the way experience and intentions affect the successful creation of new ventures. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.