Franke, Nikolaus and Gruber, Marc and Harhoff, Dietmar and Henkel, Joachim
Venture Capitalists' Evaluations of Start-up Teams:
Trade-offs, Knock-out Criteria, and the Impact of VC Experience.
Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 32 (3).
The start-up team plays a key role in venture capitalists' evaluations of venture proposals. Our findings go
beyond existing research, first by providing a detailed exploration of VCs' team evaluation criteria, and
second by investigating the moderator variable of VC experience. Our results reveal utility trade-offs
between team characteristics and thus provide answers to questions such as "What strength does it take to
compensate for a weakness in characteristic A?" Moreover, our analysis reveals that novice VCs tend to
focus on the qualifications of individual team members, while experienced VCs focus more on team
cohesion. Data was obtained in a conjoint experiment with 51 professionals in VC firms and analyzed
using discrete choice econometric models. (author's abstract)