Congratulations to Kwangjun An, Assistant Professor in Strategy & Organization, awarded 2018 SSHRC Insight Development Grant “Assessing the Role and Efficacy of Market Intermediaries: Law Firms as Brokers Between Startups and Venture Capital Firms”.
Startups often struggle to find a source of capital. In Canada, around 100,000 businesses are launched every year, and their failure rate within a year is over 15 percent, and tops out at about 50 percent within five years (Financial Post 2014). The most common cause of startup failure is lack of cash. There are other factors that drive this result, such as taking advice from the wrong people, poor investment relationships and lack of business expertise. This inherent nature of uncertainty in startup businesses has led to the emergence of new players in the startup ecosystem: venture capital (VC) law firms. VC law firms play a broker role in the venture capital market in that they build and maintain relationships with investors and use these relationships to make introductions for startups.
The objectives of the proposed research are twofold: 1) assess the impact that VC law firms can have on startups and startup ecosystems and 2) contribute to the sociological understanding of market networks by examining how intermediaries shape opportunities to form exchange relationships for individual firms and how they transform the overall structure of the whole network.
This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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