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European Economic Review


We study the problem faced by the entrepreneur seeking outside support to turn an entrepreneurial idea into a successful innovation—specifically a successful technological innovation resulting from research and development. The paper develops and tests the hypothesis that as an entrepreneur’s innovative idea becomes more complex, the entrepreneur will find it more difficult to obtain outside finance and then outside support more generally for the commercialization of the idea. Consequently, the entrepreneur will be more likely to take on additional roles beyond providing the essential idea. The evidence supports the hypothesis that, other things being the same, an entrepreneur with a more complex idea will have greater difficulty obtaining outside finance and will be more likely to take on the additional roles of development, production, marketing and distribution that are necessary for successful innovation.



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