Networking Frictions in Venture Capital, and the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship

45 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2019

See all articles by Sabrina Howell

Sabrina Howell

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Ramana Nanda

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Date Written: April 22, 2019

Abstract

Exploiting random assignment of judges to panels at Harvard Business School’s New Venture Competition (NVC) between 2000 and 2015, we find that exposure to more venture capitalist (VC) judges increases male participants’ chances of starting a VC-backed startup after HBS much more than this exposure increases female participants’ chances. A survey suggests this is in part because male participants more often proactively reach out to VC judges after the NVC. Our results suggest that networking frictions are an important reason men benefit more than women from exposure to VCs. Such frictions can help explain part of the gender gap in entrepreneurship, and also have implications for how to design networking opportunities to facilitate financing of the best (rather than just the best networked) ideas.

Suggested Citation

Howell, Sabrina and Nanda, Ramana, Networking Frictions in Venture Capital, and the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship (April 22, 2019). Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 19-105. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3376211 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3376211

Sabrina Howell

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States
212-998-0913 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sabrina-howell.com

Ramana Nanda (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/rnanda

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