Chapter 4: Processes at the Institutional Level: Incubation Models
1 4.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter we explore the processes for the incubation of spin-offs at diﬀerent European universities and public research organizations. Many public research organizations, especially in Europe, operate in environments where high-tech entrepreneurship is relatively new. The spin-oﬀ process is likely to pose diﬀerent challenges in these contexts compared with more developed high-tech entrepreneurial environments such as Boston or Silicon Valley (Roberts, 1991; Roberts and Malone, 1996). In contrast to a developed environment with a strong entrepreneurial community, in less developed environments there may be an important need for a proactive incubation role by public research organizations. A university or public research organization (PRO) engaging in spinning-oﬀ companies can adopt a range of support activities to provide the venture with the resources and capabilities it needs to develop through its diﬀerent phases (see Chapter 5). The ability to provide necessary support activities and resources may vary between public research organizations and may be associated with diﬀerent types of spin-oﬀs. The number of spin-oﬀs created with external equity investment appear to be signiﬁcantly associated with expenditure on intellectual property protection and the business development capabilities of technology transfer oﬃces, rather than the number of technology transfer staﬀ, the age of the technology transfer oﬃce or the available technology (Di Gregorio and Shane, 2003; Lockett and Wright, 2005; Siegel et al., 2003a). However, the diﬀering nature of incubation strategies is not well understood. In this chapter we examine the...
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