This methodology provides a more reliable and much richer understanding of the decision-making process of funders and the criteria used to evaluate funding opportunities than is possible from approaches that use questionnaires, surveys and interviews to collect data on the self-reported decisions of VCFMs made in the past (Shepherd and Zacharakis, 1999).
Two real-time studies of the investment decision-making of VCFMs which focused on the initial screening stage suggest that, in contrast to the generalized studies reviewed earlier, the entrepreneur is not the primary determinant, except where they are at one or other end of the distribution (i.e.
Sweeting (1991) found that VCFMs typically spent 10-15 minutes on the initial screening stage.
The sample of funders comprised three bankers, three VCFMs and four BAs.
Second, and much harder to fully address, was the need to select investment opportunities that would appeal equally to bankers, VCFMs and BAs.
However, six of the funders--all three of the bankers, two of the VCFMs and one of the business angels--would consider further the laboratory testing company (Table 2).
As anticipated, the approach of the bankers contrasts sharply with that of VCFMs and BAs.
VCFMs have a very different approach to investment appraisal.
BAs, like VCFMs, emphasize financial and market issues (22% and 21% respectively).
Hypothesis 3a, that 'the approach of BAs will be closer to that of VCFMs than to bankers because they are investing for capital gain' therefore receives support.
There are fewer contrasts between VCFMs and BAs: nevertheless, the article has highlighted some important differences in their approaches.
Third, from a methodological perspective, this study's findings concerning the investment criteria of VCFMs reinforce concerns about the reliability of the conclusions of previous studies that have used 'conventional' questionnaires, surveys and interviews which require respondents to self-describe their decision-making.