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Handbook of Research on Techno-Entrepreneurship

Edited by François Thérin

Techno-entrepreneurship is broadly defined as the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial activities of both existing and nascent companies operating in technology-intensive environments. Boasting rich conceptual and empirical contributions by leading international specialists, this highly original Handbook will prove an invaluable tool in advancing our understanding of the theory and practice of research in this emerging area. The expert contributors initially explore the foundations of the field, clearly defining the parameters of techno-entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 10: The Size and the Characteristics of the High-Tech Spin-Off Phenomenon in Sophia Antipolis

Michel Bernasconi and Dominique Jolly


10 The size and the characteristics of the high-tech spin-off phenomenon in Sophia Antipolis Michael Bernasconi and Dominique Jolly The creation of new companies from existing organizations, termed ‘spin-offs’, is a phenomenon which has been observed and described over a large number of years. In the specific area of high-technology, spin-offs are considered an important source of new companies (Cooper, 1972). The internal dynamic of Silicon Valley comes from the continuous emergence of new spin-off companies set up by former executives of big companies (Storper, 1993). For example, the majority of the 31 semiconductor firms started in Silicon Valley in the 1960s traced their lineage to Fairchild (Saxenian, 1994). Spin-off activity is therefore considered a key factor in the technology transfer and collective learning process within an innovative milieu (Camagni, 1991). Our aim is to shed light on the spin-off phenomenon in a high-tech park where it has not previously been analysed in detail. The objective of this research is to complement former research by describing the spin-offs, academic and non-academic, in relation to the development of Sophia Antipolis. At present we lack a global understanding of the spinoff activity within Sophia Antipolis. No research has been carried out to date to give a clear overview of the dimensions of the global phenomenon on a quantitative basis, through either a comparative analysis of academic and non-academic spin-offs or an assessment of the economic characteristic of those companies. This research is, therefore, the first step of...

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