Venture Centre

Thesis assignment: The Division of Equity in Student Startups

We are looking for a fourth-year student with a business administration, organizational or legal study background for a graduation/thesis assignment in which you will research how student start-ups divide the ownership of their company.

At the AUAS Venture Center, we see that the way in which student startups have divided ownership can ultimately lead to disagreement or, in the long term, be seen as a threat by investors, for example.

Hellman and Wasserman (2017) wrote that startup teams “that settle the equity division at the outset, teams that negotiate the agreement quickly, and teams that divide the equity equally, all experience lower performance. Teams that combine these three practices have the lowest performance. ”

During your graduation you will research a number of things:

  • What the literature says about how startup teams divide ownership and what this says about future entrepreneurial success
  • What the negotiation process with regard to ownership of student start-ups in AUAS entrepreneurship education looks like
  • How student start-ups in education eventually divide ownership

Based on this research, you will ultimately make recommendations for the various parties involved in guiding, supporting and facilitating student entrepreneurship at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

Do you want to discover whether this graduation assignment is something for you? Then read these articles:

  • Hellmann, T., & Wasserman, N. (2017). The first deal: The division of founder equity in new ventures. Management Science, 63(8), 2647-2666.
  • Clarysse, B., & Moray, N. (2004). A process study of entrepreneurial team formation: the case of a research-based spin-off. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(1), 55-79.
  • Zucchi, Y. A. V. (2012). Factors affecting the equity-split decisions at business start-up in South Africa (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pretoria).

Who are we looking for?

For this assignment we are looking for an ambitious and inquisitive student who is independent and dares to take responsibility. You have affinity with doing applied research and ideally have the ambition to continue studying after obtaining your bachelor's degree.

We think this vacancy is interesting for courses such as: Business Administration MER, International Business & Management, HBO Law Rechten, but are also open to other backgrounds.

What do we offer?

  • A challenging and relevant graduation assignment that you can sink your teeth into and if you deliver good quality work, the results and recommendations will really be used

  • An assignment at the HvA Venture Center where you become part of a team where innovative, sustainable and inclusive entrepreneurship is central.

  • Embedded in a team including researchers from the Entrepreneurship research group whose knowledge, experience and network you can use during the implementation of this graduation assignment.

  • The company supervisor for this assignment is the program manager of the HvA Venture Center - Bart van Grevenhof

  • The professorship of entrepreneurship will provide you with a first selection of literature for your theoretical framework, so you can get off to a flying start.

HvA Venture Centre

The HvA Venture Center is there to inspire all 45,000 students of the AUAS to help shape the world of tomorrow with creative solutions and sustainable innovations, in short: entrepreneurship.

At the HvA and the HvA Venture Center we believe in sustainable, innovative and inclusive entrepreneurship! And for this we offer a program for all AUAS students in which we inspire them with the help of storytelling, but also offer workspaces, our own incubator program and access to funding.

More information can be found here:


Are you interested in this graduation assignment? Send a motivation letter with CV and maybe even a video pitch in which you introduce yourself to

Do not forget to tell us how the courses and projects where you previously conducted research went for you.

Published by  Entrepreneurship 20 May 2021