“Founder Pre-Entry Experience and New Venture Innovation Over Time: An Examination of Multiple Paths” by Prof. Zeki Simsek
Prof. Zeki Simsek
Gressette Chair of Business Strategy and Planning
Founder pre-entry experiences are widely recognized as a source of variance in innovation across new ventures, but extant theory gives short shrift to the evolving founding team context. In this paper, we theorize and test a model that examines the complex interplay between pre-entry experience and membership dynamics and establishes a direct impact of team fluidity on innovation, and its moderating influence on the relationship between pre-entry experience and innovation. Together, these influences and associated predictions help deepen our understanding and form the outlines of a richer theory of pre-entry experience effects on venture innovation. Using structural equation modeling, we test the model and associated hypotheses within a large cohort of 1,579 new ventures tracked for eight years. The results provide broad empirical support for the model across a wide range of specifications, but mixed support for specific hypotheses.