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We exploit the staggered introduction of liability waivers when investors hold stakes in conflicting business opportunities as a shock to venture capital (VC) investment and director networks. After the law changes, we find increases in within-industry VC investment and common directors serving on startup boards. Despite the potential for rent extraction, same-industry startups inside VC portfolios benefit by raising more capital, failing less, and exiting more successfully. VC directors serving on other startup boards are the primary mechanism associated with positive outcomes, consistent with common VC investment facilitating informational exchanges in VC portfolios.

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