||We hypothesize that a major macroeconomic crisis triggers four alternative responses among nascent entrepreneurs: disengagement, delay, compensation, and adaptation. We also suggest that commitment and ambition (or “high potential”) moderate these responses. Our most important finding is the relative absence of behavioral crisis responses. However, crises may make high-tech founders become more likely to disengage, whereas the opposite holds for founders far into the process. Our study sheds light on the mechanisms behind aggregate effects of crises on the number and type of start-ups in an economy, and can guide future research on the effect of crises on nascent entrepreneurship.