We demonstrate theoretically and empirically that strategic considerations are important in shaping the cash policies of innovative firms. In our model, firms compete in product markets with uncertain structure using cash as a commitment device to invest in innovation. We show that firms' equilibrium cash holdings are related to the expected intensity of competition. The sign and magnitude of this relation depends on firms' financial constraints. Consistent with the strategic motive for hoarding cash, we show that firms' cash holdings are negatively affected by their rivals' cash-holding choices, even more so when competition is expected to be intense.