Do venture capitalists (VCs) influence whether their portfolio companies succeed or fail? How do they exert this influence? Researchers have examined how VC involvement affects IPO underpricing, perceptions of success, access to networks, management and governance expertise, and professionalization of marketing and distribution efforts (e.g., Kaplan and Stromberg, 2002; Gompers 1995; Lerner 1995, Sapienza, 1992; Baum and Silverman, 2004). Yet we know surprisingly little about how VCs systematically influence the ultimate outcomes of start-up firms.