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The Fragile Success of Team Start-ups

  • Veronique Schutjens
  • Erik Stam

This article describes the benefits and pitfalls of starting a firm with an entrepreneurial team, drawing on a longitudinal empirical analysis of the life course of 90 team start-ups and 1196 solo start-ups in the Netherlands. In the first three years of their existence, team start-ups perform better than solo start-ups on several success indicators. However, after this start phase, entrepreneurial teams face particular problems in realizing further growth. These team-specific bottlenecks can even threaten firm survival. In later life course phases we found a clear distinction between entrepreneurial teams with stagnating growth and teams that succeeded in solving these problems and went on to realize further growth.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group in its series Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy with number 2005-17.

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Length: 17 pages
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Handle: RePEc:esi:egpdis:2005-17
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  1. Clarysse, Bart & Moray, Nathalie, 2004. "A process study of entrepreneurial team formation: the case of a research-based spin-off," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 55-79, January.
  2. Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike, 1998. "Novice, portfolio, and serial founders: are they different?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 173-204, May.
  3. Veronique A.J.M. Schutjens & Egbert Wever, 2000. "Determinants of new firm success," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 79(2), pages 135-153.
  4. Ensley, Michael D. & Pearson, Allison W. & Amason, Allen C., 2002. "Understanding the dynamics of new venture top management teams: cohesion, conflict, and new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 365-386, July.
  5. Thakur, Sanjay Prasad, 1999. "Size of investment, opportunity choice and human resources in new venture growth: Some typologies," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 283-309, May.
  6. Garnsey, Elizabeth, 1998. "A Theory of the Early Growth of the Firm," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(3), pages 523-56, September.
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