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Turning scientific and technological human capital into economic capital: the experience of biotech start-ups in France

  • David Catherine

    (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM))

  • Frédéric Corolleur

    (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - Université Grenoble Alpes - Grenoble 2)

  • Myriam Carrère

    (INRA Grenoble - Grenoble 2 UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France)

  • Vincent Mangematin


    (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM), GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - Université Grenoble Alpes - Grenoble 2)

This paper examines how scientific and technological (S&T) human capital is transformed into financial capital through the creation of firms by scientists. The analysis is based on a database describing the positions held by 132 founders from 62 French biotech SMEs. It shows that star scientists engage in highly risky but also valuable firms. Less famous scientists must develop their human capital rather than valorising a stock. The paper concludes by pointing to three paradoxes concerning the commitment and compensation scheme of star scientists and the managerial position of less known scientists.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) with number hal-00422583.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:hal:gemptp:hal-00422583
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  1. Scott Shane & Toby Stuart, 2002. "Organizational Endowments and the Performance of University Start-ups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 154-170, January.
  2. Lionel Nesta & Vincent Mangematin, 2003. "Industry Life Cycle, Knowledge Generation and Technological Networks," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00424163, HAL.
  3. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff S. Armstrong, 2001. "Commercializing Knowledge: University Science, Knowledge Capture, and Firm Performance in Biotechnology," NBER Working Papers 8499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David B. Audretsch & Paula E. Stephan, 1999. "Knowledge spillovers in biotechnology: sources and incentives," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 97-107.
  5. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
  6. Jeannette Colyvas & Michael Crow & Annetine Gelijns & Roberto Mazzoleni & Richard R. Nelson & Nathan Rosenberg & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2002. "How Do University Inventions Get Into Practice?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 61-72, January.
  7. Paul Almeida & Bruce Kogut, 1999. "Localization of Knowledge and the Mobility of Engineers in Regional Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(7), pages 905-917, July.
  8. Stephan, Paula E & Everhart, Stephen S, 1998. " The Changing Rewards to Science: The Case of Biotechnology," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 141-51, March.
  9. Deeds, David L. & Hill, Charles W. L., 1999. "An examination of opportunistic action within research alliances: Evidence from the biotechnology industry," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 141-163, March.
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