World Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship
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World Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This second edition of a classic reference work, written by some of the most eminent academics in the field, contains over 30 per cent more entries on entrepreneurship. Comprehensive in scope, it includes topics from business angels, to export services to family business and uncertainty and venture capital. There are also entries on individuals including George Eastman, Howard Hughes, Joseph Schumpeter and Walt Disney. Providing its readers with a unique point of reference, as well as stimulus for further research, this Encyclopedia is an indispensable tool for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, particularly students, scholars and researchers.
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Chapter 74: University spin-offs

Liudvika Leišytė


With the increasing policy push for the contribution of universities to the knowledge economies and the industry pull for early-stage high-risk endeavors to be outsourced, university spin-off companies have increasingly drawn scholarly attention within the field of entrepreneurship. Literature distinguishes between soft channels of knowledge transfer, such as, consultancy, industry training and the production of highly qualified graduates, and hard channels such as patenting, licensing and spin-off creation (Perkmann and Walsh, 2007). Spin-off creation as a form of knowledge commercialization has drawn a great deal of attention in the literature to date as spin-off firms are tangible and observable (Zomer, 2011). Even though the literature starting in the 1980s was scarce, it has experienced an exponential increase in studies across the globe on the processes and the economic performance of university spin-offs since late 2010 (Miranda et al., 2018). Spin-offs are defined in various ways in the literature with the main commonality, that is, these are new ventures created within the auspices of research organizations (such as universities). They are founded by academics based on the technology (usually patented intellectual property) originating from research within departments, laboratories or chairs at universities. Miranda et al. (2018: 1008) see spin-off creation as a ‘process by which a company is created from another pre-existing entity’ and its main purpose is to exploit the processes, services and products developed based on the knowledge created at a university’.

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