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Entrepreneurial Spawning: Public Corporations and the Genesis of New Ventures, 1986-1999

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  • Paul Gompers
  • Josh Lerner
  • David Scharfstein

Abstract

This paper examines the factors that lead to the creation of venture capital backed start-ups, a process we term entrepreneurial spawning.' We contrast two alternative views of the spawning process. In one view, employees of established firms are trained and conditioned to be entrepreneurs by being exposed to the entrepreneurial process and by working in a network of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Alternatively, individuals become entrepreneurs because the large bureaucratic companies for which they work are reluctant to fund their entrepreneurial ideas. Controlling for a firm's size, patent portfolio and industry, we find that the most prolific spawning firms were public companies located in Silicon Valley and Massachusetts that were themselves once venture capital backed. Less diversified firms are also more likely to spawn new firms. Spawning levels for these firms rise as their sales growth declines. Firms based in Silicon Valley and Massachusetts and originally backed by venture capitalists are more likely to spawn firms only peripherally related to their core businesses. Overall, these findings appear to be more consistent with the view that entrepreneurial learning and networks are important factors in the creation of venture capital backed firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9816.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Publication status: published as Gompers, Paul, Josh Lerner and David Scharfstein. "Entrepreneurial Spawning: Public Corporations and the Formation of New Ventures, 1986-1999." Journal of Finance 60, 2 (April 2005): 577-614.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9816

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  1. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1997. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," NBER Working Papers 5969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2000. "The Interaction between Product Market and Financing Strategy: The Role of Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 959-84.
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  7. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315, 04.
  8. Holmes, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1990. "A Theory of Entrepreneurship and Its Application to the Study of Business Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 265-94, April.
  9. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Josh Lerner, 1996. "The Government as Venture Capitalist: The Long-Run Effects of the SBIR Program," NBER Working Papers 5753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Toole, Andrew A. & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2007. "Biomedical academic entrepreneurship through the SBIR program," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 716-738, August.
  2. Popov, Alexander, 2009. "Does Finance Bolster Superstar Companies? Banks, Venture Capital, and Firm Size in Local U.S. Markets," Working Paper Series 1121, European Central Bank.
  3. Zhang, Junfu, 2007. "The Advantage of Experienced Start-Up Founders in Venture Capital Acquisition: Evidence from Serial Entrepreneurs," IZA Discussion Papers 2964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin, 2006. "Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Inventors (But Never Asked): Evidence from the PatVal-EU Survey," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1261, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  5. Popov, Alexander & Roosenboom, Peter, 2009. "On the real effects of private equity investment: evidence from new business creation," Working Paper Series 1078, European Central Bank.
  6. Mihir A. Desai & William M. Gentry, 2003. "The Character and Determinants of Corporate Capital Gains," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  7. Baltzopoulos, Apostolos, 2009. "The Firm and the Region as Breeding Grounds for Entrepreneurs," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 189, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  8. Uwe Cantner & Holger Graf, 2004. "The Network of Innovators in Jena: An Application of Social Network Analysis," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 04/2004, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  9. Gil Avnimelech & Morris Teubal, 2004. "Strength of Market Forces and the Successful Emergence of Israel's Venture Capital Industry. Insights from a Policy-Led Case of Structural Change," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(6), pages 1265-1300.
  10. Alessandro Rosiello & Morris Teubal & Gil Avnimelech, 2008. "Towards the Framing of Venture Capital Policies: a Systems-Evolutionary Perspective with Particular Reference to the UK/Scotland and Israeli Experiences," ICER Working Papers 21-2008, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.

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