Chapter 8: Human capital, external relations, and early firm performance of technology-based start-ups
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New technology-based firms (NTBFs) face resource scarcity, especially in their early start-up phase. To perform well, these firms need to utilise existing resources and position themselves at par with other firms in order to acquire the resources they lack. This chapter examines the effects of NTBFs’ human capital and external relations on early performance (sales and employment). Although small firms possess some bundles of resources to develop themselves, NTBFs in particular need to access resources that often lie outside corporate boundaries. A survey was administered in 2016 to 401 small and young Swedish NTBFs (with an employment mean of 1.80 and an average age of 28.3 months). The authors show that founders’ business experience positively affects early business performance. They also conclude that in their very early stages, NTBFs may benefit from utilising their human capital and external relations.

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