Academic journal article European Research Studies

Venture Capital Financing as a Mechanism for Impelling Innovation Activity

Academic journal article European Research Studies

Venture Capital Financing as a Mechanism for Impelling Innovation Activity

Article excerpt

Introduction

The ability of national economies to create, implement, and successfully domesticate cutting-edge scientific-technological solutions, make effective and intensive use of human (including intellectual) capital, and come up with funding commensurate with need is what determines, in large part, their competitive potential and strategic positions in external and internal markets (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Quinn 1992; Birkinshaw, Hamel and Mol, 2008; Dzhukha et al., 2017; Cipovova and Dlaskova, 2016). This issue is topical not only for more economically developed countries whose economies may already now be regarded as post-industrial but also for countries with transitive economies, i.e. those transiting from industrialization to post-industrialization.

What is crucial to the intensive and science-driven development of the global economy is that innovation systems formed at national levels must be in a fit state. The rationale behind this tenet is that the shift from a stochastic to an institutionalized innovation environment requires significant funding (above all, from sources other than the state's operating budget) if the nation is to implement a series of major investment-infrastructural projects. Yet, at the same time it is worth understanding that business entities operating presently within the real sector of the economy are substantially limited in the ability to self-finance their innovation activity, which is quite capital intensive. That being said, the use of traditional tools utilized in commercial banking and the financial market (loans, debt instruments, etc.) does not bring in much funding for them to invest in long-term projects (Pfirrmann, Wupperfeld and Lerner, 2012; Kormishkin et al., 2016; Vovchenko et al., 2017; Theriou, 2015; Thalassinos et al., 2015; Thalassinos and Kiriazidis, 2003; Thalassinos, 2008). This is due to the fact that under present conditions of financial-economic instability credit risk, as well as the risk of a business failing to meet other financial obligations, is quite high. This aspect is compounded by the fact that the innovation activity of business entities operating within the real sector of the economy is not only capital intensive but quite risky as well.

A special role here is played by venture capital financing, a special form of syndicated (collective) investing in innovations that presupposes setting up special venture capital funds that act as an intermediary between venture capital investors and the senior management of the business entity engaged in innovation activity. Since the venture capital fund is an intermediary that institutionalizes venture capital financing, economic gains from innovation projects (investment venture capital profit) go to the business entity (termed a 'venture capital firm') and also to the venture capital investor. The venture capital investor may be a private (natural) person or a large financial, industrial, commercial-and-intermediary, insurance, or service corporation (i.e., legal persons). Furthermore, quite often venture capital firms are set up in the form of joint stock companies (corporate establishments). The venture capital fund, representing the interests of its investors, gets an ownership share in the capital of venture capital firms, and in some cases this share may account for up to 50-75% of the cost of the venture capital firm, but in practice the venture capital fund normally receives a blocking stake in the venture capital firm (25% + 1 share). Consequently, by reducing its participation share in the capital of the venture capital firm the venture capital fund does not take on any obligations respecting the management of the business, which makes it possible to keep risk levels down (Dudin, Lyasnikov, Kuznetsov and Fedorova, 2013; Vanacker, Heughebaert and Manigart, 2014; Novokreshchenova et al., 2016; Fetai, 2015; Boldeanu and Tache, 2016; Akopova and Przhedetskaya, 2016).

Of no less importance is the motivation component of venture capital business, consisting in the following: in the event the founder (founders) of a venture capital firm does (do) not hold a majority stake in the investment, they may engage in corporate opportunism, reducing the level of their interest in the outcomes of the firm's activity, or pursue additional gains on the side--via, say, disclosing confidential information to the firm's competitors or other potential investors (Bigus, 2006). …

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