abstract Nascent entrepreneurs continuously evaluate the merits of the opportunities they pursue and so can abandon those that lack promise and persist with those that remain attractive. This paper articulates this evolving judgment about the opportunity as the nascent entrepreneur's opportunity confidence. It situates this construct in the context of the nascent entrepreneur's human capital and early planning actions in respect to the pursued opportunity, and in respect to the emergence of the nascent venture. Analyses of PSED data show that opportunity confidence positively affects venture emergence and that, through it, entrepreneurial experience and early planning have only indirect effects on venture emergence. In contrast, industry experience has a direct, positive effect on venture emergence. These results provide some novel insights into the nascent entrepreneurial process as well as into the role of human capital and early planning in that process.