Conjoint Start-ups: A Practice Perspective on New Venture Creation

Tywoniak, Stephane & Best, Simon (2007) Conjoint Start-ups: A Practice Perspective on New Venture Creation. In Gillin, L. Murray (Ed.) 4th AGSE International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange 2007, 6 - 9 February, Brisbane, Australia.


This study reports on an attempt to establish a new process of new venture creation: conjoint start-ups. The literature on entrepreneurship usually distinguishes between novice and habitual entrepreneurs (e.g: Westhead, Ucbasaran & Wright, 2005). Novice entrepreneurs have no prior start-up experience, whilst habitual entrepreneurs have established clusters of new ventures. Research distinguishes between serial entrepreneurs, who typically launch unrelated ventures, and portfolio entrepreneurs who start related ventures. These broad entrepreneurial trajectories mirror the corporate strategies of related and unrelated diversification (Porter, 1980). Traditionally, habitual entrepreneurs have been known to establish clusters of ventures in sequence, one business at a time. The phenomenon of conjoint start-ups differs from the above types in two respects: - first, conjoint start-ups form a cluster of related ventures launched simultaneously, not in sequence; - second, the cluster is inititated by several entrepreneurs working collaboratively, rather than by one person. Therefore conjoint start-ups are expected to have traits in common with corporate collaborative ventures (alliances, networks and consortia). The process of launching conjoint start-ups exhibits two differences of note compared to a typical, single firm, process of new venture creation. The first one is related to governance: in order to institutionalize the cooperation between the businesses, governance structure and processes must be established. In our case study, all entrepreneurs have agreed to take minority stakes in each other's firm and to market their services under the same umbrella brand. This led to lengthy negotiations about governance and intellectual property, and the drafting of a charter for the cluster of conjoint start-ups, covering shareholders' agreements, intellectual property, joint marketing and referral business, and key contingencies. The second difference with a traditional new venture creation process is the need to establish a community of practice across the clustered ventures: in order to effect cooperation, the clustered ventures must establish shared practices. In our case study, the entrepreneurs have had to develop shared processes, tools, and language specific to their cluster.

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ID Code: 12951
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the conference's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Venture Creation, Start, ups
ISBN: 9780980332803
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 10 Mar 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 13:15

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