טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentZaidberg Yael
SubjectStarting-up: When Team Self-promotion Contributes
to Entrepreneurial Success in Pitching Events
(and When it Does Not)
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Professor Ella Miron-Spektor
Professor Emeritus Miriam Erez


Abstract

The importance of gaining legitimacy in the eyes of potential investors and of securing financial investments is widely recognized. Financial investments allow entrepreneurial firms to pursue identified opportunities and contribute to their ability to grow, create profit and survive despite the challenges. Most initial interaction with potential investors end up failing. Consequently, jeopardizes the venture chances to succeed. Research answering the question of how entrepreneurial teams can influence the investors' decisions is in its infancy. Our research begins to answer the question why some entrepreneurial teams are more successful than others in gaining investment by demonstrating the role of trust in the entrepreneur-investor relationship, and the effect of team self-promotion and prior experience in facilitating trust. 48 entrepreneurial teams that were chosen to take part at semifinals of entrepreneurial competition, the pitch stage, participated in the study and reported, prior to their pitch, their tendency to self-promote the team. Team self-promotion refers to a team’s presentation of its positive characteristics, specific talents, and team-accumulated accomplishments, knowledge, achievements and successes. Two independent judges, blind to the competition results and research goals, evaluated the competence and trustworthiness of the teams based on their videotaped competition pitches. By evaluating the two main aspects of trust for each team, we demonstrated that Team self-promotion can assists entrepreneurial teams to establish trust with potential investors and stakeholders during initial and crucial interactions with them. Thus, increasing their chances to obtain early stage investment. However, we also found that team self-promotion could be a double-edged sword. To gain trust, the team’s promotion should match its experience. When lacking such a match the team is seen as less competent and credible and thus less likely to succeed.


Our results point to team self-promotion as an important mechanism to establish trust and subsequently contributor to entrepreneurial success. Hence, extending knowledge on trusting individuals to the trust of teams, and especially entrepreneurial teams.