Abstract

Experience can significantly improve an entrepreneur’s odds of creating a successful and sustainable business. However, experience is a broad construct that can be measured in many ways and all types of experience are not created equal. In the entrepreneurship literature, industry work experience and previous startup experience are the two most frequently used measures. In this study, we expand on this rudimentary view to develop a more comprehensive list of specific types of experience. We seek to contribute to the theory by examining the questions: 1) What specific types of industry experience have successful entrepreneurs had prior to launch; 2) How frequently does each type of industry experience occur; and 3) What would be an effective way to measure experience?

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