In this multi-case, exploratory, qualitative study field data was gathered to gain understanding of how leaders of start-up technology entrepreneurial ventures (STEs) assembled resources with different kinds of prior knowledge. Five STEs and two outside inter-linked leaders of STEs—angel investors, participated in this study. Song, Podoynitsyna, van der Bij and Halman's (2008) possible universal success factors offered a benchmark to search for patterns. STEs associated with growth met all the benchmark criteria and six new patterns emerged. Shane's (2000) concept of the STE was modified and findings suggest this modified concept of the STE can be supported. When resources had prior knowledge of the technology and the technology sector, this specialized prior knowledge (SPK) enabled them to build processes to discover and create technological inventions, but SPK may not enable them to build processes for exploitation of those inventions in the commercial marketplace. Patterns common to STEs that grew suggest that the STE also needs resources with broad prior knowledge (BPK) of business and the competitive marketplace to build processes which facilitate exploitation of any invention discovered. Leaders of STEs may need to assemble resources with different kinds of prior knowledge, both SPK and BPK, to build both environments in the STE to impact performance. This study also provided insight into how STEs obtain capital and how angel investors who provide capital become outside interlinked leaders through their participation in management. Case analysis from angel investor participants showed that while obtaining capital can be a challenge for STEs, STEs can obtain capital. Obtaining capital itself may not be the barrier to growth; rather, understanding investor expectations and being open to guidance from them may help STEs obtain capital to grow.
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