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How venture capitalists spur invention in Spain: Evidence from patent trajectories

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  • Arqué-Castells, Pere
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    Abstract

    Venture capitalists (VCs) fund the development of promising inventions to turn them into marketable innovations. During this development stage portfolio firms are likely to garner even more inventions at least until the product is fully developed. Once the product is fully developed the focus shifts from development to sales so the number of generated inventions should decrease. This behavior implies that VCs are likely to spur invention according to an inverted U-shape over time. We empirically examine whether patent trajectories are consistent with this hypothesized inverted U-shape using a self-collected dataset containing 233 VC-backed firms and a large set of controls operating in Spain. We find that firms’ patenting activity increases after VC investments. This increase is substantially more pronounced the first two years following VC investments, i.e., patent trajectories follow an inverted U-shape over time. Our more demanding specifications suggest that the sharp increase in patenting right after VCs’ investments is caused by a positive treatment effect over and beyond any likely selection effect. Moreover, we defend that the increase in patenting is not just due to the fact that VCs give money so that firms can patent pre-VC inventions, but also to the fact that VCs fund the development of inventions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 897-912

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:5:p:897-912

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    Keywords: Venture capital; Research; Development; Patents;

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