Early teams: The impact of team demography on VC financing and going public

Early teams: The impact of team demography on VC financing and going public

By
Christine M. Beckman, M. Diane Burton, Charles A. O’Reilly
Journal of Business Venturing.
2007, Vol. 22, Issue 2, Pages 147-173

This study investigates how top management team (TMT) demographic characteristics affect firm outcomes for young high technology firms in Silicon Valley. We study how team composition and turnover shape an entrepreneurial firm's ability to attract venture capital and its ability to successfully complete an initial public offering. We find that broad access to information by virtue of having top management team members that have worked for many different employers (diverse prior company affiliations) and have diverse prior experiences (functional diversity) tend to be associated with positive outcomes. In addition, entrants to and founder exits from the TMT increase the likelihood that a firm achieves an IPO. TMT exits, in turn, reduce the likelihood of achieving an IPO. Results also suggest that prior human capital experience is consistently associated with positive firm outcomes. These findings suggest that team experiences, composition and turnover are all important for bringing new insights to the firm and are associated with the likelihood that an entrepreneurial firm will succeed.