Abstract

Uncertainty and complexity are hallmarks of many technological landscapes today. In such dynamic environments, corporate venture capital (CVC) investment has been embraced by leading corporations as a strategic tool to learn about external new technologies, markets and business models. CVC investments have been characterized as the “creation of a real option” by established firms. Taking a real options view of venture capital investments made by established corporations in entrepreneurial ventures, we argue that established corporations exercise the options created via the initial CVC investment by forming strategic alliances with ventures they invest in. In this paper we highlight the impact of uncertainty and investor capabilities on corporate investors’ decision to exercise the options inherent in their CVC investments in new ventures.

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