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A theoretical and empirical contribution for a better understanding of academic spin-offs’ growth patterns

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  • Chiara Balderi

    () (Lab. MaIn – Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa)

  • Andrea Piccaluga

    () (Lab. MaIn – Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the current debate about the growth patterns of academic spin-offs by focusing on the Italian context. In order to identify some growth determinants, we study the initial resource base, the firms’ market strategy and their network of relationships with the parent Public Research Organisations (PROs), by controlling for industry, competitive forces, local context, firms’ age and size. In consideration of the complexity of growth phenomena, we study three growth measures, namely employment, revenues and total asset growth. Our multivariate analysis shows that the bundle of initial assets lying at the heart of the firms’ growth prospects include the formal involvement of an industrial shareholder, the targeting of a large and broadly-defined market and the availability of a strong network of formal relationships with the parent PROs. On the contrary, the volume of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) portfolio, the experience previously ripened by the promoting partners in R&D and production functions and the availability of informal support mechanisms from the parent PROs do impact negatively and significantly on growth processes with regard to total assets. Finally, the specific New Product Development (NPD) stage, the amount of the starting capital, the formal involvement of a Venture Capital (VC), the experience previously ripened by the promoting partners in commercial and managerial functions and the breadth of the target market do not significantly affect growth processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiara Balderi & Andrea Piccaluga, 2010. "A theoretical and empirical contribution for a better understanding of academic spin-offs’ growth patterns," Working Papers 201004, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:sse:wpaper:201004
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    1. Grandi, Alessandro & Grimaldi, Rosa, 2003. "Exploring the Networking Characteristics of New Venture Founding Teams," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 329-341, December.
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