University capabilities in facilitating entrepreneurship: A longitudinal study of spin-off ventures at mid-range universities
This paper investigated how universities facilitate the process of spin-off venture formation based on academic research. Building on a capability perspective, we add to the literature on university characteristics and resources by exploring how the university context impacts the entrepreneurial process. We based our study on two mid-range universities and followed the start-up process of four spin-off ventures. Based on the results of our longitudinal study, we propose a set of three university capabilities that facilitate the venture-formation process: (1) creating new paths of action, (2) balancing both academic and commercial interests, and (3) integrating new resources. Each capability is particularly important for specific phases in the venturing process. Our findings suggest that these capabilities are dependent on prior spin-off experience and reside within several actors both inside and outside of the university. Furthermore, universities with weaknesses in the identified areas can take strategic action to develop these capabilities to some degree.
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