Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2013

New Enterprise Associates

by Felda Hardymon and Tom Nicholas

Abstract

NEA was established in 1977 and it subsequently morphed into one of the largest venture capital firms in the world. Despite its size and significance, some other firms established during the same era such as Kleiner-Perkins and Sequoia (both were established in 1972), are arguably better-known. No venture firm, however, can parallel NEA in terms of its scale and its commitment to organizational and operational innovation. From early on the founders predicted that NEA would grow in size and significance, but the challenges associated with achieving these goals were formidable. How could NEA scale and generate favorable returns from a large capital base for its Limited Partners (LPs)? How could General Partners (GPs) be integrated and incentivized? How could the bi-coastal structure be sustained over the long run?

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Venture Capital; Organizational Structure; Innovation and Invention; Financial Services Industry; United States;

Citation:

Hardymon, Felda, and Tom Nicholas. "New Enterprise Associates." Harvard Business School Case 813-097, February 2013.