Universities may seek to transfer technology from the public to the private sector, and therefore capture the benefits of commercialization, through a number of different mechanisms. This paper examines the option of using technology-based spin-out companies. Based on a survey of technology transfer/business development officers at 57 U.K. universities, we examine their strategies to promote the creation of spin-out companies and how they then manage the development of these companies. Our analysis focuses on the difference between those universities that have been most active in the area and those that have been least active. The results indicate that the more successful universities have clearer strategies towards the spinning out of companies and the use of surrogate entrepreneurs in this process. In addition, the more successful universities were found to possess a greater expertise and networks that may be important in fostering spin-out companies. However, the role of the academic inventor was not found to differ between the more and less successful universities. Finally, equity ownership was found to be more widely distributed among the members of the spin-out company in the case of the more successful universities.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 11, 2004
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