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How and Why do Research-Based Start-Ups Differ at Founding? A Resource-Based Configurational Perspective

  • Ans Heirman


  • Bart Clarysse


This paper studies the initial resources on which new organizations are based and how these resources interact with the institutional origin and market characteristics. Using a unique hand-collected data set of research-based start-ups (RBSUs), we empirically test how technological, financial and human resources relate to each other to form distinct starting resource configurations. We find four different start- ing configurations: "venture capital-backed start-ups," "prospectors," "product start-ups" and "transitional start-ups". The results show that VC-backed start-ups are a minority while half of the firms start as prospectors. Market complexity and growth prospects influence the probability of starting with venture capital. The unclearness of the product market at founding characterizes prospectors, while product start-ups mostly have an almost market-ready product targeted at an international niche market. Transitional starters initially commercialize technical know-how through consulting and become product oriented later on. This discussion contributes to the debate concerning the interplay of environment and firm resources.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Technology Transfer.

Volume (Year): 29 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3_4 (08)
Pages: 247-268

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:29:y:2004:i:3_4:p:247-268
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