Business models have a significant impact on a firm’s performance, value creation and innovation. Although previous research has highlighted the importance of business model innovation for existing firms, little is yet known about the antecedents of business model change and how this change influences the development of new ventures. While drawing on alliance theory, we intend to address this gap in the literature by providing an answer to the research question “How do additions to a new venture’s alliance portfolio influence its business model change in nascent markets?”

Alliances have an impact on a wide range of firm-level outcome variables such as performance and joint innovation efforts. In addition to these outcomes, we argue that a firm’s alliance portfolio will also impact the firm’s business model. By providing access to resources and information, and by influencing a firm’s position within the industry network, alliances can contribute both to the business model’s content, structure and governance, which are the three components identified by Amit and Zott (2001) as the building blocks of a business model.