Turning scientific and technological human capital into economic capital: the experience of biotech start-ups in France
This paper examines how scientific and technological (S&T) human capital is transformed into financial capital through the creation of firms by scientists. The analysis is based on a database describing the positions held by 132 founders from 62 French biotech SMEs. It shows that star scientists engage in highly risky but also valuable firms. Less famous scientists must develop their human capital rather than valorising a stock. The paper concludes by pointing to three paradoxes concerning the commitment and compensation scheme of star scientists and the managerial position of less known scientists.
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