The review of panel studies in entrepreneurship points out that very few studies in entrepreneurship focus on the individual-opportunity nexus (Davidsson & Gordon, in press). Furthermore, the speed with which to move concepts to market is a fundamental issue facing new ventures (Utterback et al., 1992). To contribute to this direction, our main objective is to investigate the impact of the opportunity-individual nexus on the speed to new venture creation.

To achieve this objective, we build a theoretical model based on imprinting literature (e.g. Stinchcombe, 1965), which predicts that the initial founding decisions of nascent entrepreneurs regarding the opportunity they decide to pursue (i.e. initial opportunity characteristics) have effects on the speed to new venture creation. This relationship between initial opportunity characteristics and speed to new venture creation is, furthermore, hypothesized to be conditioned by entrepreneurial competence (e.g. Chandler & Hanks, 1994).