Success factors in new ventures : a meta-analysis

Michael Song, K.S. Podoynitsyna, J.D. Bij, van der, J.I.M. Halman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

328 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Technology entrepreneurship is key to economic development. New technology ventures (NTVs) can have positive effects on employment and could rejuvenate industries with disruptive technologies. However, NTVs have a limited survival rate. In our most recent empirical study of 11,259 NTVs established between 1991 and 2000 in the United States, we found that after four years only 36 percent, or 4,062, of companies with more than five full-time employees, had survived. After five years, the survival rate fell to 21.9 percent, leaving only 2,471 firms still in operation with more than five full-time employees. Thus, it is important to examine how new technology ventures can better survive. In the academic literature, a number of studies focus on success factors for NTVs. Unfortunately, empirical results are often controversial and fragmented. To get a more integrated picture of what factors lead to the success or failure of new technology ventures, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine the success factors in NTVs. We culled the academic literature to collect data from existing empirical studies. Using Pearson correlations as effect size statistics, we conducted a meta-analysis to analyze the findings of 31 studies and identified the 24 most widely researched success factors for NTVs. After correcting for artifacts and sample size effects, we found that among the 24 possible success factors identified in the literature, 8 are homogeneous significant success factors for NTVs (i.e., they are homogeneous positive significant metafactors that are correlated to venture performance): (1) supply chain integration; (2) market scope; (3) firm age; (4) size of founding team; (5) financial resources; (6) founders' marketing experience; (7) founders' industry experience; and (8) existence of patent protection. Of the original 24 success factors, 5 were not significant: (1) founders' research and development (R&D) experience; (2) founders' experience with start-ups; (3) environmental dynamism; (4) environmental heterogeneity; and (5) competition intensity. The remaining 11 success factors are heterogeneous. For those heterogeneous success factors, we conducted a moderator analysis. Of this set, three appeared to be success factors, and two were failure factors for subgroups within the NTVs' population. To facilitate the development of a body of knowledge in technology entrepreneurship, this study also identifies high-quality measurement scales for future research. The article concludes with future research directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-27
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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