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Venture Capitalists in Systems of Innovation

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In contemporary literature on venture capital financial infrastructures are identified as major contributors toa large proportion of today’s innovations. Yet quite contradictory the literature on systems of innovation,hardly ever treat venture capitalists as a coherent actor in neither national nor regional innovation systems.In attempt to locate and determine the potentials and importance of the venture capitalists in the innovationsystem a two-dimensional taxonomy is constructed and used to illuminate their role and position. Thetaxonomy gains insights through theoretical reasoning and the possible location is exemplified by a case ofthe Danish venture capital market.It is argued in this article that venture capitalists stand a better chance of realizing their potential when theytake and are given direct and formal responsibility in the innovation system. In relation hereto, the authorsthus present initiatives to be taken to raise venture capitalists to a more direct and formal role in the contextof systems of innovation.Key words: Venture capital, innovation systems, innovation.

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Kasper B. Munk, Christian Vintergaard

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