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Learning patterns in venture capital investing in new industries

Using an organizational learning perspective, we link the decision by venture capital (VC) firms to invest early in a new high-technology industry to three experiential learning mechanisms: the familiarity associated with accumulation of early funding decisions, the shaping or imprinting effect of the firm’s very first such decision, and the decay or “forgetting” associated with the dormancy of prior such decisions. We find support for these learning patterns using data on the investments made by US VC firms between 1962 and 2004.

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