Companies in emerging industries face particular challenges in configuring effective supply chains. In this paper, we build on transaction cost economics to explore how supply chains can be configured in emerging industries. We focus on two key aspects of supply chain configuration: the make-or-buy decision and the strength of the ties between a focal firm and its suppliers. We utilise a multiple-case study methodology, including seven start-up companies in the emerging wave-and-tidal energy industry. We propose three models for supply chain configuration in emerging industries - 'the market model', 'the ally model' and 'the maker model' - and discuss the circumstances in which each model is suitable.