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The Determinants of Corporate Venture Capital Successes: Organizational Structure, Incentives, and Complementarities

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  • Paul A. Gompers
  • Josh Lerner

Abstract

We examine a sample of over thirty thousand transactions by corporate and other venture organizations. Corporate venture investments in entrepreneurial firms appear to be at least as successful (using such measures as the probability of the portfolio firm going public) as those backed by independent venture organizations, particularly when there is a strategic overlap between the corporate parent and the portfolio firm. While corporate vendue capitalists tend to invest at a premium to other firms, this premium appears to be no higher in investments with a strong strategic fit. Finally, corporate programs without a strong strategic focus appear to be much less stable, frequently ceasing operations after only a few investments, but strategically focused programs appear to be as stable as independent venture organizations. The evidence is consistent with the existence of complementarities that allow corporations to effectively select and add value to portfolio firms, but is somewhat at odds with suggestions that the structure of corporate venture funds limits their effectiveness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6725.

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Date of creation: Sep 1998
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Publication status: published as Paul Gompers, Josh Lerner. "The Determinants of Corporate Venture Capital Success: Organizational Structure, Incentives, and Complementarities," in Randall K. Morck, editor, "Concentrated Corporate Ownership" University of Chicago Press (2000)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6725

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  1. Judith A. Chevalier & Glenn D. Ellison, 1995. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," NBER Working Papers 5234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
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  8. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Cordell, Lawrence R & MacDonald, Gregor D & Wohar, Mark E, 1993. "Corporate Ownership and the Thrift Crisis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 719-56, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Block, Zenas & Ornati, Oscar A., 1987. "Compensating corporate venture managers," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 41-51.
  13. Siegel, Robin & Siegel, Eric & MacMillan, Ian C., 1988. "Corporate venture capitalists: Autonomy, obstacles, and performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 233-247.
  14. Brav, Alon & Gompers, Paul A, 1997. " Myth or Reality? The Long-Run Underperformance of Initial Public Offerings: Evidence from Venture and Nonventure Capital-Backed Companies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1791-1821, December.
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