Academic Entrepreneurship in Europe
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Academic Entrepreneurship in Europe

Mike Wright, Bart Clarysse, Philippe Mustar and Andy Lockett

This book advances our understanding of university spin-off creation and development in environments outside the high-tech clusters of the US. While there has been substantial university spin-off activity internationally in recent years, a number of major aspects are little understood. The authors argue that the nature of universities is changing as reduced public funding reflects a public debate on their role in society. An important aspect of this international phenomenon is an increased emphasis on the commercialization of university research and on academic entrepreneurship. These new ventures therefore involve the spinning-off of technology and knowledge generated by universities.
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Chapter 6: Entrepreneurial Teams in Spin-Offs

Mike Wright, Bart Clarysse, Philippe Mustar and Andy Lockett


6. 6.1 Entrepreneurial teams in spin-offs INTRODUCTION In the entrepreneurship literature, an increasing number of authors have highlighted founding team characteristics as potential key success factors. Heirman and Clarysse (2006) have shown that founding teams with a high degree of commercial (sector-specific) experience show significantly higher growth rates in employment and revenues than those with low levels of such experience. Zahra and Wiklund (2000) on the other hand show that the team ‘behavioural integration’ (among others, the ability to work together) to be found in start-up teams leads to a significantly higher rate of new product introduction in comparison with those founding teams that do not show high levels of integration. According to them, this also explains the comparative advantage which certain start-ups have vis-à-vis incumbent companies without such teams. Further, MacMillan et al. (1987) and Muzyka et al. (1996) show that the quality of entrepreneurial teams are an important factor in decisive entrepreneurial events such as raising venture capital. Among the high-tech start-ups, spin-offs are probably the start-up ventures in which team formation is the most crucial aspect: most of the spin-off ventures need to develop a product and therefore are in need of external forms of capital. As mentioned previously, the quality of the team is an important decision factor for external equity providers. Moreover, spin-offs usually have at least the expectancy to grow after start-up and are situated at the innovative edge of their industry segment. Again, this is exactly...

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