Field of Expertise «IPOs, Exits, and Entrepreneurial Behavior»

Prof. PhD. Vangelis Souitaris

Prof. PhD. Vangelis Souitaris

Researchers involved:

Olga Kalogeraki


Research associate, postdoc

Büro 2-242
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen

Christine Scheef

Prof. Dr.

Assistant Professor, project manager

Büro 1-348
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen

Isabella Hatak

Prof. Dr.

Full Professor of Management of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Director Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (KMU-HSG)

Büro 1-325
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen

Thomas Zellweger

Prof. Dr.

Full Professor of Business Administration with specialisation in Family Business at the University of St.Gallen, Managing Director KMU-HSG, Managing Director CFB-HSG,, Vice-President (University of St.Gallen), Research & Faculty

Büro 1-356
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen


While the current literature looks at founder at the start-up phase of the firm, we research the role these founders play when their firm grows large. More specifically, we look at founders at the time of the IPO, and also at founder-CEOs of large public firms. 

Some of the key insights include the following:

  • When founders lose power at the turmoil of the IPO, they get frustrated and increase their likelihood to exit their firm.
  • Founders play a key figurehead role at IPO and their presence and background affect the fundraising efforts. More specifically, specialist founders (in an industry or function) are perceived more favourably by IPO investors than founders that are ‘jack of all trades’. Consequently, specialist founders tend to raise more funding at IPO. In other words, investors expect domain experts to bring the growing firm to the next level of performance.

Another focus of this «field of expertise» is how entrepreneurs behave and feel. More specifically, we have investigated the concepts of hope and fear, as well as stress and mental well-being. 

Publications and working papers

IPOs and Exits

Entrepreneurial Behavior

Research projects

IPOS and Exits

  • Founder CEOs: A contingency assessment of their impact, GFF research grant (Kalogeraki, Souitaris),
    Exploring the impact of founder succession in large public firms (Georgakakis, Souitaris) 

Entrepreneurial Behavior

  • Entrepreneurship and mental well-being, GFF research grant (Hsueh, Souitaris, Kowatsch)

We are aim to assess whether behavioural therapy affects well-being of entrepreneurs, using an application-based CBT-tool, which follows a set of entrepreneurs/participants longitudinally. 

Impact and transfer

We regularly communicate these ideas and research results in the classroom, for example in Master’s degrees in Management (High-Growth Entrepreneurship course for MUG and MBI) and in PhD workshops (e.g. how to become a top scholar workshop).