https://orcid.org/0009-0001-5073-3291>Elizabeth Pollman 0009-0001-5073-3291

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This symposium Article traces the history and rise of venture capital and venture-backed startups in the United States from a business law perspective and explores the current big questions in the field. This examination highlights that after lawmakers shaped the enabling environment for venture capital to flourish, corporate and securities law has responded to the rise of venture-backed startups incrementally but with profound effect. Although business law has not always fit easily with the distinctive features of venture backed startups, it has provided an enormous space in the private realm for them to order their governance and maneuver with relative freedom. This private realm is a good fit for the needs of startups that drive economic growth and innovation, but their activity can also create lingering issues of social costs and policy that are difficult to address. Grappling with this reality is essential to continuing to foster a vibrant venture capital ecosystem while also developing a coherent business law response to the current wild era of “adventure capital.”


startups, venture capital, VC, law and entrepreneurship, corporate law, securities law, Corporate governance

Publication Title

Southern California Law Review

Publication Citation

96 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1341