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Master's Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject Business economics - General, grade: 1.0, University of Bremen, language: English, abstract: Economic growth and technological changes are often triggered by innovative entrepreneurs who discover, exploit, and explore undetected opportunities. However, before entrepreneurs can move forward they need capital in order to realize their business idea. In general, investors can be characterized as the gatekeepers who provide this financial bottleneck resource to entrepreneurs. Venture capital firms, in particular, are a highly specialized group of investors which may also act as facilitators for innovations. Given that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have been mostly studied in isolated cases, no integrative framework has yet been developed. Thus, this study aims to unfold the interconnectedness and dependencies of both parties and derives inter alia two important variables, namely strategic orientation and trust, which have been poorly studied in this field, but are crucial for the long-term success of the relationship. The structure of this study corresponds with the process which is characteristic for the relationship between the venture capitalist and the entrepreneur: • The innovation process • The strategy dimension • The trust perspective This study uses an adapted gatekeeper-model by Csikszentmihalyi to reveal the different stages of the innovation process and to build a theoretical framework of the relationship between both parties. Through the complexity and the interconnection of all the different aspects it is designed as a 'door opener' to a rich field of further research as well as it is aimed at helping practitioners understand the innovation process within a complex and dynamic environment.