Given the importance of network status, this study seeks to understand how newcomers - young organizations entering interorganizational networks - attain such privileged positions. Drawing on literature in imprinting and network theory, we develop a model and hypotheses regarding the direct and moderating effects of the newcomer’s ego-network characteristics in the year of network entry on its status, and examine their persistence over time. We test proposed relationships on a panel data of 411 U.S. venture capital firms (3,627 observations) and show that with some diminishing returns over time, the characteristics of initial partnerships exert a long term influence on newcomer’s status.