Making of A Successful Entrepreneur: Anatomy of an Entrepreneur Part II

24 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2009  

Vivek Wadhwa

Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization, Pratt School of Engineering; Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

Raj Aggarwal

University of Akron; Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Krisztina Holly

University of Southern California

Alex Salkever

Duke University - Pratt School of Engineering

Date Written: November 17, 2009

Abstract

Our earlier research paper, Anatomy of an Entrepreneur, provided some insights into the motivations of founders of high-growth companies, as well as their socio- economic, educational, and familial backgrounds. We found that technology entrepreneurs are most likely to come from middle-class backgrounds, to have parents who are less educated than they are, and to be married with children when they launch their first companies. Their primary motivations for launching a company are financial and emotional. They wanted to build wealth and had a business idea on which they wanted to capitalize. Many said they had always wanted their own companies some day.

In this paper, we explore company founders’ opinions and observations about their own trajectory and what influenced the success or failure of their businesses. By understanding what entrepreneurs think and believe, we hope to provide more insights into how to better support entrepreneurs and create societal, political, and economic conditions that can more efficiently foster entrepreneurship.

This research is based on a survey of 549 company founders in a variety of industries, including aerospace and defense, computer and electronics, health care, and services.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, success, failure, venture capital, financing, company founders

Suggested Citation

Wadhwa, Vivek and Aggarwal, Raj and Holly, Krisztina and Salkever, Alex, Making of A Successful Entrepreneur: Anatomy of an Entrepreneur Part II (November 17, 2009). Kauffman Foundation Small Research Projects Research Paper No. 2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1507384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1507384

Vivek Wadhwa (Contact Author)

Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization, Pratt School of Engineering ( email )

Durham, NC 27708
United States

Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance ( email )

Crown Quadrangle 559 Nathan Ab
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Raj Aggarwal

University of Akron ( email )

Akron, OH 44325-4803
United States

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ( email )

East 6th & Superior
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States

Krisztina Holly

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Alex Salkever

Duke University - Pratt School of Engineering ( email )

Masters of Engineering Management Program
Durham, NC 27708
United States

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