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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Please join us for a virtual exclusive conversation with Prime Video and Amazon Studios Chief Marketing Officer Ukonwa Ojo. This discussion is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford.

Please join us for an exclusive virtual conversation with North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. This discussion is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford.

Given the surge of COVID-19 cases across the country and for the safety of all, we have decided to cancel in-person attendance and make the 2022 Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Conference available to all virtually. 

Research and practice suggest that co-founded ventures outperform solo-founded ventures on average. Yet, little work has explored the conditions under which solo founding might be possible or even preferable to co-founding. Combining an inductive case-oriented analysis with a Qualitative Comparative Analysis of 70 new entrepreneurial ventures, we examine why and how solo founders can be as successful as their peers in co-founded ventures. We find that successful solo founders strategically use a set of co-creators rather than co-founders to overcome liabilities, retain control, and mobilize resources in unique and unexpected ways. A primary contribution of this paper is an emergent configurational theory of entrepreneurial organizing. Overall, we reveal the broader significance and theoretical importance of adopting a configurational lens for both practitioners and scholars of entrepreneurship.

Firms’ use of SPACs to go public has increased dramatically, leading to market and regulatory debate about their use of projections. Examining SPAC mergers from 2004 through 2021, we find that 80% of firms provide projections for four years ahead on average, with approximately one-quarter of recent projections extending more than five years. For the sample of SPAC mergers with observable post-merger revenue, we find that only 35% of firms meet or beat their projections. This proportion declines for forecasts that are longer horizon, and non-serial SPAC sponsors miss forecasts by greater percentages. When we compare SPAC projected revenue growth to benchmark samples of IPO firms and matched firms, the SPAC projections are approximately 3 times larger on average than benchmark firms’ actual revenue growth, with even greater differences for long-term projections. After the merger, firms reduce their use of projections, providing them at statistically similar rates as benchmark firms. Overall, the evidence supports concerns that the SPAC merger includes highly optimistic projections.

Firms’ use of SPACs to go public has increased dramatically, leading to market and regulatory debate about their use of projections. Examining SPAC mergers from 2004 through 2021, we find that 80% of firms provide projections for four years ahead on average, with approximately one-quarter of recent projections extending more than five years. For the sample of SPAC mergers with observable post-merger revenue, we find that only 35% of firms meet or beat their projections. This proportion declines for forecasts that are longer horizon, and non-serial SPAC sponsors miss forecasts by greater percentages.

CREATE Faculty Director and UNC Public Policy Professor Maryann Feldman recently served as a panelist examining conditions for technology-based economic development. While speaking to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Sept. 29, Feldman cautioned against treating universities as lynchpins in the effort to drive regional innovation—noting reforms are needed to help university technology transfer offices recoup operating costs—and strongly advocated for new financing models to spur economic development in areas lacking venture capital support.

As the pandemic forced shutdowns across the globe, U.S. government entities at the federal, state and local levels worked swiftly to secure known drivers of economic growth and job creation – including entrepreneurial ecosystems and small businesses. And while the programs implemented were widely lauded as successful, the story of who benefitted – and who did not – is more complex. This week’s Kenan Insight explores our experts’ key findings around the roles of policy and implementation in supporting equal access to opportunity.

Consumers will long associate the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic with seemingly apocalyptic searches for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and PPE. But even now, amid continued surges of the Delta variant, many global supply chains continue to experience disruptions at record rates. This week’s Kenan Insight invites our experts to weigh in on the immediate impact of these disruptions for business and society, the longer term effects across industries and the roles government and emerging tech should be playing to drive solutions.

Join UNC and OHUB for an evening of fun, connection and learning. If you have been reading about the full DEI Solutions (DEIS) Certificate Program and are curious about whether it’s right for you, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Hear from top leaders who are skilled at incorporating DEI solutions in their companies and learn about a helpful framework to support those efforts.

Could new legislation help drive the development of local tech clusters – and the growth of corresponding economic power and development – beyond Silicon Valley? In this week’s Kenan Insight, our experts explore the gravitational pull of Big Tech along with what it could mean if startups across the U.S. were better able to remain and grow in the communities where they launch.

As featured in our 2021 Trends in Entrepreneurship Report, hear experts discuss leveraging analytics to drive improved healthcare access, treatments and delivery.