Taking advantage of mutual synergies: A multiple case-study of CVCs and High-Growth Start-ups
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- Master of Science 
This thesis explores how Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) firms and high-growth start-ups cooperate to attain mutual synergies. Specifically, how start-ups become scale-ups, and corporations obtain competitive advantages through cooperation. These synergies are gained through the sharing of heterogeneous, immobile resources in the process of resource mobilization. I employ case evidence from two CVCs as well as from three start-ups in rapid growth that have received investments and shared resources with these CVCs. This thesis examines the resource mobilization process through search, access, and transfer. From this evidence, I derive five propositions regarding how this mobilization process transpires and how these resources achieve mutual synergies for both parties. Proposition 1: When start-ups and CVCs search for each other to become strategic partners, they look for heterogeneous resources. Proposition 2: In the process when CVCs and start-ups decide to enter strategic partnerships, CVCs value founder-team quality, while start-ups value freedom from constraints. Proposition 3a: Resources that are shared by both CVCs and start-ups in strategic partnerships outside of projects create synergies for both parties. Proposition 3b: A mutual strategic project benefiting both the start-up and the CVC leads to a strategic advantage for the corporation and accelerated growth for the start-up, when they have complementary resources to offer each other. Proposition 3c: By creating an ecosystem where resources are strategically shared the CVC creates synergies for both portfolio companies and the mother company. This study offers two novel contributions: First, it shows that the benefits of sharing resources are mutual, enabling both synergies for growth for start-ups and competitive advantages for corporations. Second, it shows how sharing resources, cooperations and CVC-start-up ecosystems work to this benefit.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Strategy - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2019