Abstract

Does the advice seeking behavior of entrepreneurs prior to starting new businesses affect the subsequent speed to market of the new venture? While a few scholars have studied the effects of various pre-startup activities, such as business network (Davidsson & Honig, 2003), homebase location choice (Brush et al., 2008), and unique sets of activities (Newbert, 2005) on the early ventures’ speed to market, little is known about the effect of advice seeking behavior as an important gestation activity on speed to market. This motivates us to ask the research question: How and to what extent is a new venture’s speed to market influenced by an entrepreneur’s advice seeking behavior prior to and at the time of start-up? We develop and test hypotheses based on two dimensions of advice seeking: (1) frequency and (2) breadth. Specifically, we hypothesize an inverted U-shaped relationship between the level of advice seeking frequency and a new venture’s fast achievement of its first sale. In addition, breadth of advice seeking positively moderates the curvilinear relationship between advice seeking frequency and fast achievement of first sale.

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