The entrepreneurial firm plays an important role in economic growth and innovation. Linde Institute researchers use methods from both economics and finance to study the behavior and financing of entrepreneurial firms. In one stream of research, the individual's choice to become an entrepreneur is studied in the context of employment mobility. Another area of research focus is the raising of capital for small, high-growth entrepreneurial firms, which is a challenge often solved with venture capital and angel investment. Understanding how this capital matches with entrepreneurial firms and how it impacts performance is important for both entrepreneurs and policy-makers.
Existing entrepreneurship research often faces data constraints when approaching these issues. Linde Institute researchers attempt to overcome these data limitations through large-scale automated data collection and web scraping. For example, Linde Institute researchers are currently building a database of survival rates for US-based inventive startups. These data provide a platform to answer new questions about the formation and productivity of entrepreneurial firms. In another example, a Linde Institute researcher and his co-author analyzed data for nearly 18,000 companies and found that female-founded startups have a harder time gaining investor interest and raising money.
In addition to supporting research activities, The Linde Institute provided substantial seed funding for Caltech to establish an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program to facilitate Caltech start-up company formation, specifically to increase both the quality and quantity of start-up companies based on Caltech intellectual property. In March 2015, David Licata joined Caltech's Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships as the first EIR. During his two-year residency, Licata mentored faculty, students, and alumni in connection with their enterprises based on technologies developed at Caltech.