Dr. Nasser Kutkut is an executive education faculty member in the College of Business at the University of Central Florida. He is also an adjunct professor in the doctoral program of innovation management at the Arabian Gulf University. He serves as a chief technology officer of Advanced Charging Technologies Inc. A serial entrepreneur, Dr. Kutkut has over 20 years of entrepreneurial and technology management experience and was the founder/co-founder of several high-tech start-up companies.
This doctoral thesis is aimed at comparing the market entry strategies of venture capital (VC) financed and non-VC financed new ventures (NVs). Many suspect that the marketing entry strategies of VC and non-VC funded new ventures differ where VC-funded new firms tend to have explicit market entry strategies dictated by the need to have detailed business plans to secure VC financing while non-VC funded new firms tend to lack explicit planning as they tend to rely on personal networks for initial market entry. While these assumptions may seem obvious since VC funded firms benefit from the value added by their respective VCs, it remains unclear how and to what extent VC funding impacts market entry strategies in new ventures. In addition, it is also unclear whether market entry strategies of non-VC funded new ventures vary significantly. This thesis helps fill this research gap in the literature by addressing three research questions: (1) do VC and non-VC funded NVs pursue different market entry strategies? (2) do differences in market entry strategies between VC and non-VC funded NVs, if any, lead to differences in market entry performance? Market entry performance was assessed by time to first shipment (time to first sales).
An empirical study based on a cross-sectional survey of 824 US firms was conducted. Our sample consisted of 448 VC funded firms and 364 non-VC funded firms. The firms were surveyed using a standardized web-based questionnaire. Responses were received from 82 participants, yielding a response rate of 10%. Complete data records were received from 54
respondents yielding an effective response rate of 6.6%. The results show that VC funded NVs do pursue different market entry strategies in terms of a “top-down” or “planned” target market selection, a niching channel focus, a lower degree of product differentiation, and a formalized entry deterrent planning. While VC funded firms were found to achieve lower market entry performance, in terms of time to first sales, such performance is not related to differences in market entry strategies. This may be the result of longer research and development cycles dictated by lengthy patenting activities in VC funded new ventures.
Keywords: new ventures, market entry strategies, venture capital.