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Divergent Paths or Stepping Stones: A Comparison of Scientists’ Advising and Founding Activities

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  • Ding, Waverly
  • Choi, Emily

Abstract

This paper investigates the difference in the profiles of university scientists who have founded or advised companies. We analyzed commercial activities of a sample of 6,138 university life scientists and found that the profiles of scientists who become academic entrepreneurs are different from those who become company scientific advisors. Founding activity occurs earlier during a scientist’s career cycle than advising. Factors such as gender, research productivity, social networks and employer characteristics also shape the propensity of founding and advising in different patterns. In addition, regression analysis shows that being a company scientific advisor decreases the risk of becoming an academic founder. Overall, evidence from our analysis suggests that founding and advising are two divergent paths for commercially oriented university scientists.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Waverly & Choi, Emily, 2008. "Divergent Paths or Stepping Stones: A Comparison of Scientists’ Advising and Founding Activities," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4907j25p, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt4907j25p
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Haeussler, Carolin & Colyvas, Jeannette A., 2011. "Breaking the Ivory Tower: Academic Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences in UK and Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-54, February.
    2. Andrew A. Toole & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2010. "Commercializing Science: Is There a University "Brain Drain" from Academic Entrepreneurship?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(9), pages 1599-1614, September.

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