The paper analyses the impact of venture capital finance on growth and innovation activities of young German firms. Among other variables, our panel of firm data includes data on venture capital funding and patent applications. With a statistical matching procedure we draw an adequate control group of non venture funded firms. The analysis gives evidence that innovative firms will be able to close a venture capital deal with higher probability. Once the firms are venture funded, they display higher growth rates but do not differ in their innovative output from otherwise comparable firms. We derive strategic implications.