For high-technology entrepreneurs, attaining an appropriate level of investment to support new ventures is challenging as substantial investment is usually required prior to revenue generation. Consequently, entrepreneurs must present their firms as investment ready in the context of an uncertain market response and an absence of any trading history. Gaining tenancy within a business incubator can be advantageous to this process given that placement enhances entrepreneurial contact with potential investors whilst professional client advisors (CAs) use their expertise to assist in the development of a credible business plan. However, for the investment proposal to be successful, it must make sense to fund managers despite their lack of technological expertise and product knowledge. Thus, this article explores how incubator CAs and entrepreneurs act in concert to mould innovative ideas into plausible business plans that make sense to venture fund investors. To illustrate this process, we draw upon empirical evidence which suggests that CAs act as sense makers between venture fund managers (VFMs) and high-technology entrepreneurs, yet their role and influence appears undervalued. These findings have implications for entrepreneurial access to much needed funding and also for the identification of investment opportunities for VFMs. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics