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Formation of biotechnology firms in the Greater Seattle region: an empirical investigation of entrepreneurial, financial, and educational perspectives


  • P Haug


The biotechnology sector is a revolutionary industrial sector and promises significant innovations in medicine, veterinary care, plant agriculture, food processing, and environmental industries. Within the United States, biotechnology firms have generally agglomerated in existing regional high-technology complexes. In this paper empirical evidence is presented on the formation, evolution, financial sources, and educational relationships of thirty-three commercial biotechnology firms in the Greater Seattle metropolitan region, a leading US biotechnology concentration. Data were collected through extensive personal interviews, and these biotechnology organizations are compared across the following organizational incubators of the founder(s): academic or other research institution, academic or other research institution and business, biotechnology firm spin-off, and nonbiotechnology firm spin-off. Findings show the significance of local universities, research institutions, and existing biotechnology organizations in developing and sustaining biotechnology investment and employment. Comparisons across the organizational origins of these firms indicate major differences in financial structure and in affiliations with educational institutions for resources and research collaborations. Results also highlight several issues concerning regional economic development and biotechnology enterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • P Haug, 1995. "Formation of biotechnology firms in the Greater Seattle region: an empirical investigation of entrepreneurial, financial, and educational perspectives," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(2), pages 249-267, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:27:y:1995:i:2:p:249-267

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    Cited by:

    1. Stuart, Toby & Sorenson, Olav, 2003. "The geography of opportunity: spatial heterogeneity in founding rates and the performance of biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 229-253, February.
    2. Pe'er, Aviad & Vertinsky, Ilan, 2008. "Firm exits as a determinant of new entry: Is there evidence of local creative destruction?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 280-306, May.
    3. Wu, Weiping, 2007. "Cultivating Research Universities and Industrial Linkages in China: The Case of Shanghai," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1075-1093, June.

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