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Corporations and the financing of innovation: The corporate venturing experience

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  • Paul A. Gompers

Abstract

During the past forty years, the media and academics have frequently maligned corporate investments in venture capital and highlighted visible failures. Many corporations' best ideas have languished, whether because of internal resistance or an inability to execute on the initial insight. In other cases, more nimble companies, often venture-backed start-ups, have turned corporations' innovative ideas into commercial successes. So how can companies best stimulate innovation in a corporate setting and replicate the success of the venture capital industry? ; This article explores the history, structure, and performance of corporate venture programs in the United States over the past forty years. The study shows that the U.S. corporate venture capital market has gone through three waves of activity that track the overall independent venture capital market. ; The author's analysis, using detailed microlevel data, finds that corporate venture investments are increasingly made in related industries. In addition, contrary to previous assumptions, corporate venture capital investments have, on average, been more successful than independent venture capital investments. This success is exclusively associated with strategic corporate venture investments. This study concludes that corporations appear to be learning many of the best practices from the independent venture capital sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2002)
Issue (Month): Q4 ()
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2002:i:q4:p:1-17:n:v.87no.4

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Keywords: Venture capital ; Productivity ; Technology ; Economic development;

References

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  1. Gompers, Paul A, 1995. " Optimal Investment, Monitoring, and the Staging of Venture Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1461-89, December.
  2. Block, Zenas & Ornati, Oscar A., 1987. "Compensating corporate venture managers," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 41-51.
  3. Jensen, Michael C, 1993. " The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 831-80, July.
  4. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, . "Scale, Scope and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," Working Papers ec25/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  5. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1996. "The Use of Covenants: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Partnership Agreements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 463-98, October.
  6. Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 1998. "Does Venture Capital Spur Innovation?," NBER Working Papers 6846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Underinvestment and Incompetence as Responses to Radical Innovation: Evidence from the Photolithographic Alignment Equipment Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 248-270, Summer.
  8. Sykes, Hollister B., 1990. "Corporate venture capital: Strategies for success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 37-47, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dirk Engel & Claire Champenois & Oliver Heneric, 2004. "The Birth of German Biotechnology Industry – Did Venture Capital run the show?," RWI Discussion Papers 0016, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  2. Lopez, Henry & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 2009. "How innovation intermediaries are shaping the technology market? An analysis of their business model," MPRA Paper 20458, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
  3. Thomas Hellmann & Laura Lindsey & Manju Puri, 2008. "Building Relationships Early: Banks in Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 513-541, April.
  4. Jean-Sebastien Lantz & Jean-Michel Sahut & Frédéric Teulon, 2014. "Capital risque industriel et innovation technologique," Working Papers 2014-233, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  5. Van de Vrande, Vareska & Vanhaverbeke, Wim & Duysters, Geert, 2009. "Additivity and complementarity in external technology sourcing: The added value of corporate venture capital investments," MPRA Paper 26419, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
  6. De bettignies, Jean-Etienne & Chemla, Gilles, 2003. "Corporate Venture Capital: The Upside of Failure and Competition for Talent," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6366, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Dushnitsky, Gary & Lenox, Michael J., 2005. "When do incumbents learn from entrepreneurial ventures?: Corporate venture capital and investing firm innovation rates," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 615-639, June.
  8. Allen, Stephen A. & Hevert, Kathleen T., 2007. "Venture capital investing by information technology companies: Did it pay?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 262-282, March.
  9. Veldhoven, Joris & Cloodt, Myriam & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 2008. "Modeling the set-up and management of a spin-out: Evidence from a case study," MPRA Paper 26489, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
  10. Zur Shapira & Gary Dushnitsky, 2011. "Entrepreneurial Finance Meets Organizational Reality: Comparing Investment Practices And Performance Of Corporate And Independent Venture Capitalists," Discussion Paper Series dp589, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  11. Basu, Sandip & Phelps, Corey & Kotha, Suresh, 2011. "Towards understanding who makes corporate venture capital investments and why," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 153-171, March.

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