Edited by Adam Novotny, Einar Rasmussen, Tommy H. Clausen and Johan Wiklund
Chapter 22: Urban universities as a start-up ecosystem: The case of academic spin-offs in Milan
Universities are research ecosystems that generate entrepreneurial opportunities. Universities adopt supporting measures to foster entrepreneurship and academic spin-offs. This chapter explores the universities within the city of Milan as an urban ecosystem that provides different interaction and supporting practices. The sample includes 74 academic spin-offs from four universities; semi-structured interviews to technology transfer officers; and answers from 34 academic entrepreneurs offering insights on their experience. The analysis puts in light that spin-offs tend to cluster around an industry despite a missing strategy at the university level. Furthermore, there is evidence that multiple clusters co-exist within the city, which is an ecosystem itself. This two-level ecosystem combines opportunities and reinforces industrial specialization and variety at the local level. The chapter offers a better understanding of the dynamics of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in urban universities, specifically about the interaction among multiple universities in an urban ecosystem.
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