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Entrepreneurial Origin, Technological Knowledge, and the Growth of Spin‐Off Companies

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  • Bart Clarysse
  • Mike Wright
  • Els Van de Velde

Abstract

We contribute to the literature on corporate spin-offs and university spin-offs by exploring how different characteristics in the technological knowledge base at start-up influence spin-off performance. We investigate how the technological knowledge characteristics endowed at start-up predict growth, taking into account whether the knowledge / technology is transferred from a corporation or university. We use a novel, hand-collected dataset involving 48 corporate and 73 university spin-offs, comprising the population of spin-offs in Flanders during 1991-2002. We find corporate spin-offs grow most if they start with a specific narrow-focused technology sufficiently distinct from the technical knowledge base of the parent company and which is tacit. University spin-offs benefit from a broad technology which is transferred to the spin-off. Novelty of the technical knowledge does not play a role in corporate spin-offs, but has a negative impact in university spin-offs unless universities have an experienced technology transfer office to support the spin-off.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bart Clarysse & Mike Wright & Els Van de Velde, 2011. "Entrepreneurial Origin, Technological Knowledge, and the Growth of Spin‐Off Companies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 1420-1442, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:48:y:2011:i::p:1420-1442
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    Cited by:

    1. Dorner, Matthias & Fryges, Helmut & Schopen, Kathrin, 2015. "Wages in high-tech start-ups - do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?," IAB Discussion Paper 201517, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Dorner, Matthias & Fryges, Helmut & Schopen, Kathrin, 2017. "Wages in high-tech start-ups – Do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18.
    3. Anastasios KARAMANOS, 2015. "The Effects of Knowledge from Collaborations on the Exploitative and Exploratory Innovation Output of Greek SMEs," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy Journal, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 3(3), pages 361-380, September.
    4. Harkonen, Janne & Haapasalo, Harri & Hanninen, Kai, 2015. "Productisation: A review and research agenda," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 65-82.
    5. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:14:y:2017:i:05:n:s0219877017500262 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Helen Lawton Smith & Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen & Laurel Edmunds, 2016. "Innovation capacity in the healthcare sector and historical anchors: examples from the UK, Switzerland and the US," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1420-1439, December.
    7. Aurora A.C. Teixeira & Marlene Grande, 2013. "Determinants of the economic performance of Portuguese Academic Spin-offs: do Science & Technology infrastructures and support matter?," FEP Working Papers 502, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1458-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Paolo Gubitta & Alessandra Tognazzo & Federica Destro, 2016. "Signaling in academic ventures: the role of technology transfer offices and university funds," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 368-393, April.
    10. Alicia Rodríguez & María Jesús Nieto, 2016. "Does R&D offshoring lead to SME growth? Different governance modes and the mediating role of innovation," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(8), pages 1734-1753, August.
    11. Einar Rasmussen & Paul Benneworth & Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2013. "Scoping paper: Developing University Innovation Capacity: How can innovation policy effectively harness universities’ capability to promote high-growth technology businesses?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20131007, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    12. Markus A. Kirchberger & Larissa Pohl, 2016. "Technology commercialization: a literature review of success factors and antecedents across different contexts," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(5), pages 1077-1112, October.
    13. Andreas Stephan, 2014. "Are public research spin-offs more innovative?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 353-368, August.
    14. Deligianni, Ioanna & Voudouris, Irini & Lioukas, Spyros, 2015. "Growth paths of small technology firms: The effects of different knowledge types over time," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 491-504.
    15. Sascha G. Walter & Simon Heinrichs & Achim Walter, 2014. "Parent hostility and spin-out performance," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(13), pages 2031-2042, December.
    16. repec:spr:rvmgts:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11846-016-0217-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Würmseher, Martin, 2017. "To each his own: Matching different entrepreneurial models to the academic scientist's individual needs," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-17.
    18. Mike Wright, 2014. "Academic entrepreneurship, technology transfer and society: where next?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 322-334, June.
    19. Agarwal, Rajshree & Shah, Sonali K., 2014. "Knowledge sources of entrepreneurship: Firm formation by academic, user and employee innovators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1109-1133.
    20. Einar Rasmussen & Mike Wright, 2015. "How can universities facilitate academic spin-offs? An entrepreneurial competency perspective," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 782-799, October.

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