Chapter 8: University Technology Transfer through University Business Incubators and How They Help Start-ups
Christian Lendner Introduction Universities play a major role as a source of technology, leading-edge research and for potential entrepreneurs, formerly academics, research staﬀ, doctoral candidates or students. This know-how, human capital and network access are critical resources to entrepreneurial companies in general. Research commercialization and technology transfer is a main task of the universities, also teaching, research and executive education. The even more challenging task of universities is to transfer the intellectual property out of the university to industry or, better, to use it for the creation of new companies (start-ups). An incubator assists start-ups in setting up their business and starting operations. The speciﬁc requirements of knowledge based start-up ﬁrms diﬀer according to their industry focus and technology level. Technology-based companies tend to emphasize R&D investments and a ﬁrm with a new ‘high-tech’ product wants to achieve proof of concept or to build a prototype. Incubators assist such ﬁrms in the pre-seed and seed phase. Universities can facilitate the transfer of critical resources to the business through the process of research commercialization. University business incubators (UBIs) can be distinguished from other public or private incubators, private business parks, corporate incubators and ‘virtual’ incubator organizations without a physical structure. The priority of public or private science parks is to rent space to young companies. They seldom oﬀer further advice or support to the companies. In comparison, private business incubators lack a relationship with university with its complementary assets and services. Corporate incubators are only oriented towards...
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