Essays on innovation strategies of entrepreneurs and startups
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This dissertation examines the mechanisms and factors that influence the choice and application of innovation strategies by high-tech entrepreneurs. As the competitive advantage of high-tech startups mainly originates from its knowledge-related resources, that is, its social capital, intellectual property, and human capital. This dissertation elaborates on these three knowledge-related resources. In the first paper, Dr. Rothaermel and I posit that the less visible, informal knowledge networks of individuals are a relevant source of information that drives the formation of future alliances between firms. By employing social network theories, we tested how certain structural characteristics of an informal knowledge network, such as the extent to which information is diversified and the information processing capabilities of key individuals, are positively correlated with the formation of future alliances. The second paper discusses the influence of intellectual property on a startup. In this chapter, I explored the impact of a novel innovation on the probability of a successful exit, the likelihood of forming strategic alliances and how such alliances influence the exit activity, and the mode of exit along with its financial returns. The third paper addresses the heterogeneity of the performance of serial entrepreneurs by exploring the moderators of the relationship between entrepreneurial experience and firm performance. The results indicate that education positively moderates the relationship between entrepreneurial experience and venture performance through both the learning-by-doing process and the self-selection process.