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Pay attention to me! The role of endorsements, patents, gender and prior experience in startup media attention

Laura Gasiorowski (University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA)
Ahreum Lee (State University of New York, Oswego, New York, USA)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 22 November 2022

Issue publication date: 27 February 2023

205

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the antecedents of media attention in the context of early-stage startups. While many studies have examined the implications of media attention on firm outcomes, few have investigated the antecedents especially in the context of early-stage startups who significantly lack organizational legitimacy. This study attempts to answer an important and yet unanswered question: What type of startups are more likely to be covered by the media?

Design/methodology/approach

Using Poisson regression, the authors analyze all media articles written about 315 early-stage ventures in the USA.

Findings

The authors found that startups with a prestigious investor or a patent have more media attention and startups with a female founder or prior entrepreneurial experience have less. The results suggest that entrepreneurial signals do play a role in media attention, but that the signal–signaler relationship may be more complicated than that in the investment literature.

Practical implications

Entrepreneurs may benefit from signaling less noisy and unambiguous signals that the media pays more attention to, such as getting an endorsement from reputable third parties early on, which might activate noisy signals.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is to extend the current literature on media attention and entrepreneurship by shedding light on attributes of startups that may help or hurt the volume of media attention in an uncertain and noisy environment.

Keywords

Citation

Gasiorowski, L. and Lee, A. (2023), "Pay attention to me! The role of endorsements, patents, gender and prior experience in startup media attention", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 120-143. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-02-2022-0066

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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