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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul A. Gompers, 2002. "Corporations and the financing of innovation: The corporate venturing experience," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q4, pages 1-17.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2002:i:q4:p:1-17:n:v.87no.4
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. J.E. de Bettignies & Gilles Chemla, 2003. "Corporate Venture Capital: The Upside of Failure and Competition for Talent," THEMA Working Papers 2003-45, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    2. repec:kap:fmktpm:v:31:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11408-017-0298-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Heneric, Oliver & Engel, Dirk & Champenois, Claire, 2004. "The Birth of German Biotechnology Industry - Did Venture Capital run the show?," RWI Discussion Papers 16, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    4. Giovanna Vertova, 2014. "The State and National Systems of Innovation: A Sympathetic Critique," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_823, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. 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.
    6. Colombo, Massimo G. & D’Adda, Diego & Pirelli, Lorenzo H., 2016. "The participation of new technology-based firms in EU-funded R&D partnerships: The role of venture capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 361-375.
    7. 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.
    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. 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.
    10. Baldi Francesco & Baglieri Daniela & Corea Francesco, 2015. "Balancing Risk and Learning Opportunities in Corporate Venture Capital Investments: Evidence from the Biopharmaceutical Industry," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 221-250, July.
    11. Vincent FRIGANT & Marina FLAMAND, 2015. "The diversity of carmakers\' behaviors vis-a-vis the Corporate Venture Capital," Cahiers du GREThA 2015-24, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    12. 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.
    13. Vibha Gaba & Gina Dokko, 2016. "Learning to let go: Social influence, learning, and the abandonment of corporate venture capital practices," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(8), pages 1558-1577, August.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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 Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

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