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Are all academic entrepreneurs created alike? Evidence from Germany


  • Rajeev K. Goel
  • Christoph Grimpe


Using data from a large survey of German researchers in public science and based on a formal structure, this paper examines determinants of academic entrepreneurship. The key contribution is to discern factors driving research-driven entrepreneurship versus overall academic entrepreneurship. The extant literature has almost exclusively focused on the latter and implicitly assumed academic entrepreneurs to commercialize their research. Results show that, despite some plausible similarities in the determinants, there are significant differences. In particular, while both entrepreneurship categories benefit from greater patent applications, more time spent on consulting by the researcher and from participation in European conferences, research leaders and engineering science disciplines are more likely to lead to research-driven entrepreneurs. However, the positive influences of university employment (compared with being employed at a public research organization) on overall academic entrepreneurship fail to show up in research-driven entrepreneurship. One implication is that universities may be unduly patting themselves on the back -- they might yield more entrepreneurs, but not necessarily research-driven entrepreneurs.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajeev K. Goel & Christoph Grimpe, 2012. "Are all academic entrepreneurs created alike? Evidence from Germany," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 247-266, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:21:y:2012:i:3:p:247-266 DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2011.576506

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Didier François, 2009. "The Cost Factor in Patent Systems," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 329-355, December.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aschhoff, Birgit & Grimpe, Christoph, 2014. "Contemporaneous peer effects, career age and the industry involvement of academics in biotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 367-381.
    2. Rajeev Goel & Devrim Göktepe-Hultén & Rati Ram, 2015. "Academics’ entrepreneurship propensities and gender differences," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 161-177, February.
    3. Ricardo Moutinho & Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira & Arnaldo Coelho & José Pires Manso, 2016. "Determinants of knowledge-based entrepreneurship: an exploratory approach," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 171-197, March.
    4. Rajeev Goel & Christoph Grimpe, 2013. "Active versus passive academic networking: evidence from micro-level data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 116-134, April.
    5. Rajeev Goel & Devrim Göktepe-Hultén, 2013. "Nascent entrepreneurship and inventive activity: a somewhat new perspective," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 471-485, August.
    6. Hsing-fen Lee & Marcela Miozzo, 2015. "How does working on university–industry collaborative projects affect science and engineering doctorates’ careers? Evidence from a UK research-based university," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 293-317, April.

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