Divergent paths to commercial science: A comparison of scientists' founding and advising activities
This paper investigates the difference in the profiles of university scientists who have founded or advised companies. We analyzed the commercial activities of a sample of 6138 university life scientists and found that the profiles of scientists who become academic entrepreneurs are different from those who become companies' scientific advisors. Founding activity occurs earlier during a scientist's career than advising. Factors such as gender, research productivity, social networks and employer characteristics also differ in their effects on the propensity for founding and advising. In addition, regression analysis shows that being a company's scientific advisor decreases the probability of becoming an academic founder. Overall, evidence from our analysis suggests that founding and advising are two divergent paths for commercially oriented university scientists.
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