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A Descriptive Study of Portfolio Management within the Context of New Venture Projects: A New Insight for Business Incubators and Venture Capital Firms in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

New Ventures projects emerge in response to the growing need of countries to develop and grow economically in an environment characterized by rapid changes. The importance of these projects is such that during the last decades they have played a role not only as drivers of the economy but also as sources of new jobs and innovation (Chen, 2009). Due to this importance, there have been multiple studies related to the efficient management of such projects. However, it is not sufficient for these projects to be managed properly, but the presence of limited resources makes necessary to select, prioritize and control these projects strategically within a portfolio.


This strategic management can be carried out by using the theory developed in Project Portfolio Management (PPM). The importance of PPM is the ability to integrate the world of projects with the operation of organizations, helping to minimize failures such as making unnecessary effort to undertake these projects in an appropriate manner when in fact these are not the right projects.  However, there is a lack of knowledge in the application of PPM theory for New Ventures projects, because their characteristics differ from those of any other type of projects in terms of high level of risk and, in many cases, high technical uncertainty (Mac Millan & Gunther, 2000).  This knowledge gap can be minimized using two different approaches. The first one consists in employing the theory developed by PPM in R&D projects, applying it for New Venture projects, as suggested by Mac Millan & Gunther (2000). The second approach corresponds to using the theory developed around the management of projects within Business Incubators (BIs) and Venture Capital firms (VC) in every stage of the PPM process.


This study describes how BIs and VCs in Sweden manage their New Venture projects portfolios in issues such as selection, prioritization and monitoring and control. To achieve an adequate depiction of this process, the study seeks primarily to identify the role of BIs and VCs in the PPM and the proper relationship that should exist between both organizations to ensure an ideal flow of projects at each stage of their development. In addition, it also seeks to find whether tools outlined in the literature are often used in practice.


Among the main findings of the study, the major contribution of the BIs is mainly in the feasibility analysis of projects and the support they give in their development, while VC firms are usually more focused on the selection, prioritization and monitoring and control of their portfolios. In practice there have been shortcomings in the transition of New Venture projects between BIs and VCs. These can be solved by creating a single organization that integrates the entire process of PPM between BIs and VCs, or other alternative is for VCs to start investing mainly in early stage projects.  Another important finding corresponds to the use of the expertise of BIs and VCs members as the most important tool when making strategic decisions. And although there is general satisfaction with the success of these projects in Sweden, some authors have argued that this industry is not totally mature. Therefore, this study suggests using some tools, proposed in a conceptual model, developed to achieve the maturity that New Venture projects industry requires.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 97 p.
Keyword [en]
New venture projects, project portfolio management, business incubators, venture capital firms
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-39879OAI: diva2:396783
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-02-11 Created: 2011-02-11 Last updated: 2011-02-11Bibliographically approved

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