"The importance of protection ability as a selection criterion for Venture Capitalists" wins 5th annual BVA Essay Award

Academic research on the investment decision of VCs with focus on the importance of the ability to protect Intellectual Property
23 Mar 2011

Brussels, 23 March 2011 – For the 5th time the Belgian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (BVA) granted its BVA Essay Award in cooperation with Deloitte. This year, the award for best essay about the Private Equity and Venture Capital industry went to Ms Annelore Huyghe of the Universiteit Gent, Economics and Business Administration, with her dissertation "The importance of protection ability as a selection criterion for Venture Capitalists", under the direction of Professor Dr. Mirjam Knockaert.

The winning essay was presented for the degree of Master in Applied Economics at the UGent (Year 2009-2010) and investigates the different selection criteria for venture capitalists, in particular the importance of the protection of Intellectual Property by patents.

The essay focuses on the Venture Capital industry and in particular concentrates on the investment criteria of European VCs investing in high tech companies at early stages. VCs are crucial for the funding of new technology-based firms, as previous academic studies have already indicated that start-up companies with VC funding tend to outperform non VC-backed ventures in terms of a higher survival rate, growth, innovative activity and the time to bring a product to the market. This essay addressed the research question: "what is the importance of protection ability of the IP, as a selection criterion across early stage high tech venture capitalists?" The research covered a sample of 68 European early stage high tech VC investors, drawn from the seven regions across Europe with the highest R&D intensity and VC presence.

The outcome of the research model on the VC decision criteria indicated that: