Institutional Origin and Resource Endowments to Science-Based Entrepreneurial Firms: A European Exploration
This paper addresses theoretical and empirical gaps in the relationships between the nature of institutional origin, firm resources and growth in the context of spinning off ventures from public research organisations (PROs). Institutional origin is considered a two dimensional construct consisting of the formality of technology transfer and the research specificity of a PRO. In this perspective, these variables are hypothesised to predict the resource endowments of science-based entrepreneurial firms. Additionally, given the widespread attention from academics and policy makers to IP based science-based entrepreneurial firms, the formality of technology transfer is expected to be associated with growth. Empirical tests of hypotheses derived from this view are based on data from 184 science-based entrepreneurial firms, representing 48 public research organisations. Multivariate analysis of variance shows that institutional origin predicts firm resources, showing significance levels for start capital. An ordinal interaction effect shows that companies established with a formal transfer of technology start with higher resource levels, and even more so when started from a PRO with a specific research base. This suggests that specific PROs are more selective in the projects they consider eligible for spin off incubation and creation. Next to this, two-stage regression analysis indicates that the formality of technology transfer has a single direct effect on growth in employees and capital, independent of the start capital of the firm, pointing to the intrinsic advantage of having protected intellectual property formally transferred to the science-based entrepreneurial firm at the onset of the business activities.
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