We examine how the social structure of existing organizations influences entrepreneurship and suggest that resources accrue to entrepreneurs based on the structural position of their prior employers. We argue that information advantages allow individuals from entrepreneurially prominent prior firms to identify new opportunities. Enterepreneurial prominence also reduces the perceived uncertainty of a new venture. Using a sample of Silicon Valley start-ups, we deomonstrate that entrepreneurial prominence is associated with initial strategy and the probability of attracting external financing. New ventures with high prominence are more likely to be innovators; furthermore, innovators with high prominence are more likely to obtain financing.
This article is made available for free and open access by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations' Digital Commons.
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