The prior functional business experience of an entrepreneur is shown to have a positive impact on entrepreneurial outcomes. Multiple arguments have been made that explain this positive relation. For example, entrepreneurs with more functional business experience are believed to be better skilled, to be more reputable and have wider networks in place when starting a business (Campbell, 1992; Kim, Aldrich and Keister, 2006; Reuber and Fischer, 1994; Westhead, Ucbasaran and Wright, 2005). In the current paper we want to create a more precise understanding on the network argument that influences the relation between functional experience and start-up success (Aldrich & Zimmer, 1986; Lockett, Ucbasaran & Butler, 2006). More specifically we focus in depth on the role that key helpers play in the very early stages of the start-up process. We hypothesize that the relation between the functional business experience of a nascent entrepreneur and subsequent start-up success is moderated by the use of helpers during the start-up process. Hereby we study (1) the effectiveness of helpers for nascent entrepreneurs with a variety of experience levels in general and (2) the actual network properties that can explain helper effectiveness for nascent entrepreneurs with a variety of experience levels (when nascent entrepreneurs do use helpers).