An Empirical Study of University Spin-Off Development

David Doloreux

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Manuel H Gubeli

affiliation not provided to SSRN


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship

Purpose – The paper is concerned with spin-off firms and the process by which a new firm is created and formed from a university. The objectives are to examine characteristics of firms generated by this process, and the intensity of the spin-off firms' network activity with the parent organisation and the local environment during this process. Design/methodology/approach – The findings are based on a case-study consisting out of three firms spun-off from a research centre at Linköping University in the area of visualisation and computer graphics. The source data are gathered from semi-structured interviews. No generalisation should be drawn from this study due to the small number of firms interviewed and the scope of the technological area addressed. Findings – The results show the importance of collaboration between the university spin-off, with both the parental organisation and outside organisms, to acquire external competencies in the technological area. The parental organisation plays a pivotal role in the spin-off process, especially in its early stage where its catalyses the emergence of the business idea by supporting the spin-off firm with infrastructure and expertise in a specific field of mentorship. However, as the spin-off evolves, this pre-incubation service complements yet more support services of municipality and region, which stand to be more important in the technological and business development of the spin-off. Originality/value – University spin-offs have an important place in the innovation process, but their promotion must be part of a wider policy package encouraging networking not only with the host university, but with industry and the public sector as well. For universities and public research organisations, it is advisable to take a more active role in the spin-off process beyond the pre-incubation stage. (Publication abstract)

Keywords: Colleges & universities, Business assistance, Parent firms, Mentoring, High technology firms, Interfirm alliances, Seed firms, Social networks, Startups, University spinouts

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Date posted: November 9, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Doloreux, David and Gubeli, Manuel H, An Empirical Study of University Spin-Off Development (2005). European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 8, Issue 3, p. 269-282 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1500925

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David Doloreux (Contact Author)
affiliation not provided to SSRN
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Manuel H Gubeli
affiliation not provided to SSRN
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