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Who's the new kid? The process of developing centrality in venture capitalist deal networks

Network Strategy

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1442-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-531-4

Publication date: 25 July 2008


In this chapter we examine the process by which new firms become central actors within their industry networks. We focus, in particular, on how relatively new venture capital (VC) firms become more central within investment syndication networks. We present a model that captures the relationships among (1) the social capital and status of the new VC firm's founders, (2) the VC firm's resource endowments, (3) the VC firm's ability to forge relationships with other prestigious and central venture capital firms, (4) the visibility-enhancing performance of portfolio firms, and (5) the urgency and effort exhibited by the new VC as it pursues these opportunities. These factors combine to shape a new VC's journey from the periphery to the center of its industry network. To illustrate these processes, we develop in-depth case studies of Benchmark Capital and August Capital, two VC firms founded in 1995. We then elaborate upon the enacted nature of resource and opportunity constraints and conclude with a discussion of how new firms create their own self-fulfilling prophecies.


Fund, B.R., Pollock, T.G., Baker, T. and Wowak, A.J. (2008), "Who's the new kid? The process of developing centrality in venture capitalist deal networks", Baum, J.A.C. and Rowley, T.J. (Ed.) Network Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 563-593.



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