On growth drivers of high-tech start-ups: Exploring the role of founders' human capital and venture capital
In this paper, we jointly analyze the effects of the human capital of founders and access to venture capital (VC) financing on the growth of 439 Italian new technology-based firms (NTBFs). We rely on econometric models that control for survivorship bias and the endogeneity of VC financing. As to non-VC-backed firms, the competence-based argument that the capabilities of NTBFs coincide with founders' skills is confirmed. Nonetheless, once a NTBF obtains VC, this coincidence vanishes, pointing to the "coach" function performed by VC investors. Conversely, the view that sees the "scout" function as the main task performed by VC investors is not supported.
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