Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory
267 small technology-based ﬁrms in Finland shows that established ﬁrms represent the most important source of spin-oﬀs while university spin-oﬀs are less frequent (Autio and YliRenko, 1998). Unfortunately, the lack of empirical evidence on corporate spin-oﬀs makes it diﬃcult to obtain accurate estimates of their importance as a source of STSOs. University spin-oﬀs Universities and public research centres represent a signiﬁcant source of STSO formation. For example, examining a sample of new technology-based ﬁrms established in France between 1984 and 1991, Mustar (1997) found that about 40 per cent were founded by scientists employed in public research centres, universities and the system of ‘les grandes écoles’. Similarly, in Ireland and Sweden, a large proportion of STSOs have been founded by former employees of higher institutions (see Storey and Tether, 1998 for a survey). The evidence from Finland suggests that universities or research centres may also oﬀer substantial technological knowledge to non-academic STSOs (Autio and Yli-Renko, 1998). University start-ups typically are spurred by diﬀerent motivations than corporate spinoﬀs. For instance, university professors who decide to establish a new ﬁrm may be motivated by social recognition, autonomy and control. Unlike many new start-ups spawned by established ﬁrms, academic spin-oﬀs, especially in the USA, are often supported by university technology transfer oﬃces (TTO) because they represent a vehicle for commercializing a university’s property rights and demonstrating the contribution of universities to economic growth (Chiesa and Piccaluga, 2000; Nicolaou and Birley, 2003; Feldman,...
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