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What Determines the Innovation Capability of Firm Founders?

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Abstract

Innovative start-ups, not start-ups in general, seem to be important drivers of economic growth. However, little is known about how such firms look like. As activities of start-ups are strongly related to firm founders, we investigate this question focusing on the innovation capability of firm founders. We find that the combination of different founder characteristics such as university education (at best a combination of technical and commercial education), prior experience in R&D, and strong motivation to realize own innovative ideas increases innovative activities of start-ups by more than 40%.

Suggested Citation

  • Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2010. "What Determines the Innovation Capability of Firm Founders?," KOF Working papers 10-265, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:10-265
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010703558
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    Cited by:

    1. Helmut Fryges & Bettina Müller & Michaela Niefert, 2014. "Job machine, think tank, or both: what makes corporate spin-offs different?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 369-391, August.
    2. Francesco Quatraro & Marco Vivarelli, 2015. "Drivers of Entrepreneurship and Post-entry Performance of Newborn Firms in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 277-305.
    3. Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Niklas Elert & Dan Johansson, 2016. "Are high-growth firms overrepresented in high-tech industries?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-21.
    4. Jolanda Hessels & Peter van der Zwan & Mark Sanders, 2013. "Entrepreneurial activity, industry orientation, and economic growth," Scales Research Reports H201307, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    5. Gersbach, Hans & Schetter, Ulrich & Schneider, Maik, 2015. "How Much Science? The 5 Ws (and 1 H) of Investing in Basic Research," CEPR Discussion Papers 10482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Thomas Bolli & Martin Woerter, 2013. "Competition and R&D cooperation with universities and competitors," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 768-787, December.
    7. Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2014. "The impact of venture capital on the persistence of innovation activities of start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 849-870, April.
    8. Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2013. "The Impact of Venture Capital on the Persistence of Innovation Activities of Swiss Start-ups," KOF Working papers 13-332, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    9. Francesco Izzo & Barbara Masiello, 2015. "Strategie di innovazione nelle imprese creative di servizi," ECONOMIA E DIRITTO DEL TERZIARIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(1), pages 63-104.
    10. Marco Vivarelli, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and Post-Entry Performance: the Microeconomic Evidence," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1286, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    11. Stucki, Tobias, 2016. "How the founders’ general and specific human capital drives export activities of start-ups," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 1014-1030.
    12. Marco Vivarelli, 2013. "Is entrepreneurship necessarily good? Microeconomic evidence from developed and developing countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(6), pages 1453-1495, December.
    13. Vivarelli, Marco, 2012. "Drivers of entrepreneurship and post-entry performance : microeconomic evidence from advanced and developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6245, The World Bank.
    14. Areti Gkypali & Vasileios Kokkinos & Christos Bouras & Kostas Tsekouras, 2016. "Science parks and regional innovation performance in fiscal austerity era: Less is more?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 313-330, August.
    15. Quatraro, Francesco & Vivarelli, Marco, 2013. "Entrepreneurship In A Developing Country Context," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201314, University of Turin.
    16. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:7:p:1312-1326 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Hoenen, Sebastian & Kolympiris, Christos & Schoenmakers, Wilfred & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas, 2014. "The diminishing signaling value of patents between early rounds of venture capital financing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 956-989.
    18. Isabel Busom & Beatriz Corchuelo & Ester Martínez-Ros, 2014. "Tax incentives… or subsidies for business R&D?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 571-596, October.
    19. Uwitonze, Eric & Heshmati, Almas, 2016. "Service Sector Development and its Determinants in Rwanda," IZA Discussion Papers 10117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Joern H. Block & Christian O. Fisch & Mirjam van Praag, 2016. "The Schumpeterian Entrepreneur: A Review of the Empirical Evidence on the Antecedents, Behavior, and Consequences of Innovative Entrepreneurship," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-072/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    21. Garcia Martinez, Marian & Zouaghi, Ferdaous & Sanchez Garcia, Mercedes, 2017. "Capturing value from alliance portfolio diversity: The mediating role of R&D human capital in high and low tech industries," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 55-67.
    22. Francesco Quatraro & Marco Vivarelli, 2013. "Entry and Post-Entry Dynamics in Developing Countries," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-20, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Start-ups; Innovation; Founder characteristics;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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