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Being at the right place at the right time: does the timing within technology waves determine new venture success?

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Studies regarding new venture success and failure are at the forefront of entrepreneurship research. While individual factors are extensively investigated and revealed as antecedents of new venture success, organizational and environmental factors are rather underrepresented in research. Especially a missing market need or a mistimed market entry are shown in practical surveys to be key determinants of new venture failure. However, research has rarely incorporated these aspects. This study aims to extend research on new venture success by investigating the effects of new venture market entry timing. Furthermore, we differentiate the timing effects depending on the geographical context. To this end, we analyze data of more than 700 European new ventures that focus on important technologies. Combining the concepts of the diffusion of innovations and technology acceptance, we argue that the amount of new ventures, covering a certain technology over time, proceeds as a technology wave. Building on these technology waves, this study shows that the timely positioning of new ventures within those waves determine their success. Moreover, building on uncertainty avoidance literature, we reveal that the aforementioned relation varies depending on the uncertainty avoidance level of a geographical region. We find the temporal distance to the peak of a technology wave to be a significant antecedent of new venture success. Whereas this negative relationship is mitigated by below median uncertainty avoidant regions, new ventures in contexts of above median uncertainty avoidance are likely to show a lower success. With these results, we contribute to entrepreneurship and technology acceptance literature.

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Schlichte, F., Junge, S. & Mammen, J. Being at the right place at the right time: does the timing within technology waves determine new venture success?. J Bus Econ 89, 995–1021 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11573-019-00947-0

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  • New venture success
  • Technology waves
  • Technology acceptance
  • Diffusion of innovations
  • Market entry timing
  • Uncertainty avoidance

JEL Classification

  • L26
  • M13
  • O33
  • Q55