Emergence, Newness and Growth
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Lars Kolvereid, L. Øystein Widding and Roger Sørheim
Chapter 10: Design Characteristics Associated with Venture Capital Acquisitions in Academic Spin-offs
Ekaterina S. Bjørnåli, Roger Sørheim and Truls Erikson INTRODUCTION The formation of high growth academic spin-off companies is one of the main policy goals of governments and universities (Rothaermel et al., 2007; Wright et al., 2007b). Academic spin-offs are usually based on technology formally transferred from the parent organization, which is a university or research institute. Equity finance is conducive to the creation of wealth through spinoff formation; however access to finance and, more particularly finance from venture capitalists, is a major barrier that academic spin-offs face (Wright et al., 2006). The concerns of venture capitalists are related to the quality of the management team and that scientist entrepreneurs may not have the credibility to recruit management with commercial expertise or to attract customers (Wright et al., 2006). The importance of the topic of firm creation is also reflected by the increasing literature related to academic spin-offs (Rothaermel et al., 2007; Djokovic and Souitaris, 2008). Spin-off researchers have primarily tried to explain the variation in spin-off activity and identify factors that would increase this activity in the universities. Previous studies have mainly focused on the university related factors, for example, universities’ and technology transfer offices’ (TTO) policies, practices and faculty characteristics, rather than on the development of spin-off companies after their legal establishment and the success factors outside the research environment. The success behind spin-off firm creation is attributed to the quality of human resources (that is, faculty, TTO personnel, founding team) and funding from university, industry...
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