Given its popularity in the public media, it is surprising that researchers have only recently gained interest in entrepreneurial exit as a critical component of the entrepreneurial process (DeTienne, 2010). There is general agreement on the fact that stakeholder relations and in specific, the entrepreneur-investor dyad, play a crucial role for new venture creation and success (MacMillan, Kulow & Khoylian, 1989; Cable & Shane, 1997). However, to the best of our knowledge, merely Collewaert (2011) has investigated investor relations in the light of entrepreneurial exit, approaching the topic from a conflict perspective.

Trust is considered an important trigger and precondition for cooperative relationships between entrepreneurs and investors (Shepherd & Zacharakis, 2001). Thus, focusing on the last stage of the entrepreneurial process, this research analyzes the role that trust between entrepreneurs and investors plays for founders’ exit intentions and exit strategies.