Abstract

Previous research shows that a new venture’s network can be an important source to overcome the liability of newness (e.g. Deutsch, 2003; Khaire, 2005). For example in the context of financing it has been shown that board structures (Carmeli, 2004; Certo, 2003) and endorsements of prestigious underwriters, alliance partners and investors lead to better IPO valuations (e.g. Stuart, Hoang and Hybels, 1999). Although previous studies show how network partners are beneficial for the financing of new ventures, there is still a lack of understanding on the exact characteristics that make these network partners most influential. Therefore, in our paper, we test the characteristics that make new venture network parties important in the early stages of the financing process. We do this by studying the explicit referrals involved in arranging connections to VC funds. To model this mechanism we used the EiN model, a multidimensional framework based on the work of Parsons. In this framework we identify four key capitals of referrals that could play a role in their ability to successful help new ventures in connecting to VC’s. These capitals are Strategic, Economic, Cultural and Social.

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