Are Academic Spin-Offs necessarily New Technology-Based firms?
New Technology-Based Firms (NTBFs) have gained increasing economic relevance, supported by the recognition that they play an important role in national economies in the appearance of both new, high technology products and of new and emerging industries. Despite their economic importance, a number of alternative definitions for NTBFs are referred to in the literature, many of them adjusted to the aim of the study or the sample under observation. Such a lack of conceptualization reflects the variety of perspectives and interests of researchers, and has led to the need for a coherent framework to study NTBFs. Agreement has yet to be reached on which are the key characteristics of NTBFs. This lack of consensus in the conceptualization of NTBFs hinders the adequate applicability of the concept or a comparison among the different existing studies. Based on a sample of 30 Academic Spin- Offs (ASOs), and applying the criteria inferred conceptually, it was possible to conclude that, contrary to common wisdom, not all ASOs are NTBFs. Additionally, the ASOs classified as NTBFs, according to our criteria, differ significantly from the other ASOs, presenting a higher level of invested capital, higher R&D and internationalization intensity, and founding teams with a higher concentration of individuals with management capabilities.
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