Parallel business models and the innovativeness of research-based spin-off ventures
Research-Based Spin-Offs (RBSOs) are seen as a potential mechanism for technology transfer by commercializing academic research and thereby stimulate industrial innovation. RBSOs are heterogeneous, however, and in this paper we investigate how the use of different business models by RBSOs is related to their innovativeness. We use a sample of 82 young RBSOs from Norway to explore typologies of RBSOs developed in earlier studies. Our findings show that some types of business models are associated with higher innovativeness than others. The typology approach has portrayed RBSOs as if they pursue only one business model. In this paper we challenge this assumption by drawing on evolutionary theory and the idea that firms may follow several business models in parallel. Our empirical findings suggest that most RBSOs pursue several business models in parallel and that such firms are more innovative. This study extends the typology approach within the academic entrepreneurship literature by showing that some business models are associated with higher innovativeness than others and that firms pursuing several business models at the same time may be particularly important for the commercialization of academic research. These findings have important implications for research and practise. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
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