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

  • Paul Gompers
  • Josh Lerner
  • David Scharfstein

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9816.pdf
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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
Note: CF
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Allen N. Berger & Nathan H. Miller & Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Does Function Follow Organzizational Form? Evidence From the Lending Practices of Large and Small Banks," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1976, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Gromb, Denis & Scharfstein, David, 2002. "Entrepreneurship in Equilibrium," CEPR Discussion Papers 3652, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Holmes, T.J. & Schmitz, J.A., 1988. "A Theory Of Enterpreneurship And Its Application To The Study Of Business Transfers," Working papers 8827, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  9. Antoinette Schoar, 2002. "Effects of Corporate Diversification on Productivity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2379-2403, December.
  10. Mark L. Mitchell & Kenneth Lehn, 1990. "Do Bad Bidders Become Good Targets?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 3(2), pages 60-69.
  11. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Patents, Citations, and Innovations: A Window on the Knowledge Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026260065x, June.
  12. Thomas Hellmann, 2007. "When Do Employees Become Entrepreneurs?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 919-933, June.
  13. Mitchell, Mark L & Lehn, Kenneth, 1990. "Do Bad Bidders Become Good Targets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 372-98, April.
  14. David S. Scharfstein, 1998. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets II: Evidence from Diversified Conglomerates," NBER Working Papers 6352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  16. 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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