Experimentation, Planning, and Structure in Early-Stage Ventures: Evidence from Venture Pitches

40 Pages Posted: 29 May 2018 Last revised: 17 Oct 2020

See all articles by Andrea Contigiani

Andrea Contigiani

Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University

Trevor Young-Hyman

University of Pittsburgh

Date Written: October 16, 2020

Abstract

We examine the role of experimentation, planning, and structure in the evaluation of early-stage ventures. We hypothesize that the choice of coherent combinations – experimentation and informal structure or planning and formal structure – is associated with positive evaluations. First, using proprietary data from a venture competition, we find a positive correlation between coherent combinations and evaluations. Next, we verify the causality of this pattern through an experimental study on Amazon Mechanical Turk and find consistent results. Both in the field and the experiment, the effect is driven by evaluators with entrepreneurial experience. Overall, the evidence suggests that evaluators are sensitive to the choices of strategy and structure in early-stage ventures, contrary to the common belief that these features play little role in these organizations.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Experimentation, Planning, Structure, Venture Competition

JEL Classification: M13, M21

Suggested Citation

Contigiani, Andrea and Young-Hyman, Trevor, Experimentation, Planning, and Structure in Early-Stage Ventures: Evidence from Venture Pitches (October 16, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3179697 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3179697

Andrea Contigiani (Contact Author)

Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.andreacontigiani.info

Trevor Young-Hyman

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

United States

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