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

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  • Ans Heirman

    ()

  • Bart Clarysse

    ()

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ans Heirman & Bart Clarysse, 2004. "How and Why do Research-Based Start-Ups Differ at Founding? A Resource-Based Configurational Perspective," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(3_4), pages 247-268, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:29:y:2004:i:3_4:p:247-268
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hagedoorn, John & Link, Albert N. & Vonortas, Nicholas S., 2000. "Research partnerships1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 567-586, April.
    2. Feller, Irwin, 1990. "Universities as engines of R&D-based economic growth: They think they can," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 335-348, August.
    3. Link, Albert N. & Scott, John T., 2001. "Public/private partnerships: stimulating competition in a dynamic market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 763-794, April.
    4. Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
    5. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bronwyn H. Hall & Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2003. "Universities as Research Partners," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 485-491, May.
    7. Albert Link, 1999. "Public/Private Partnerships In The United States," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 191-217.
    8. Bronwyn H. Hall & Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2003. "Universities as Research Partners," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 485-491, May.
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