Academic Founders and Business Opportunity Generation: An Empirical Analysis Based on Italian Academic Spin-Offs
EMPIRICAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN EUROPE: NEW PERSPECTIVES, Dowling M., Schmude J., eds., pp. 177-197, Edward Elgar UK, 2009
25 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2009
Date Written: February, 15 2009
The important role that academic spin-offs have in supporting technological growth has been widely acknowledged. Despite the growing interest in the study of academic spin-offs, there is little evidence on the psychological characterization of academic entrepreneurs and their behaviours in transferring university technology. In this paper, we study the recognition of opportunities for commercially exploiting a given technological knowledge developed within universities. We first review the previous studies that have analysed the factors influencing the ability of new venture founders to recognize and develop opportunities, we then develop a framework addressing the opportunity recognition process. We present empirical analyses based on a sample of 88 academic entrepreneurs, founders of 47 academic spin-offs. Our results show that industry experience and sector commercialization opportunities are considered a relevant source of opportunity recognition, while university level related factors are perceived as less important, if compared to other technological and environmental characteristics. Managerial implications are discussed.
Keywords: Academic entrepreneurship, Opportunity recognition, Opportunity development
JEL Classification: 031, 032
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation