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The Formation of High-Tech University Spinouts: The Role of Joint Ventures and Venture Capital Investors


  • Mike Wright


  • Ajay Vohora
  • Andy Lockett



We explore the joint venture route to commercializing university owned intellectual property. We present comparisons between two spinouts formed as joint ventures between universities and industrial partners and two spinouts where this was not the case. The research employs a resource-based framework, with new high tech spinout firms (or firms in gestation) facing severe resource and capability constraints. We show that spinouts typically lack the financial means and managerial expertise to acquire the resources and develop the capabilities they need in order to fully exploit the commercial potential of their technologies. We argue that creating a spinout company as a joint venture with an industrial partner, may be a means of overcoming some of the potential problems associated with managing resource weaknesses and inadequate capabilities that may be difficult to achieve as a free-standing spin-out company with or without venture capital backing.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Wright & Ajay Vohora & Andy Lockett, 2004. "The Formation of High-Tech University Spinouts: The Role of Joint Ventures and Venture Capital Investors," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(3_4), pages 287-310, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:29:y:2004:i:3_4:p:287-310

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