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The “first match” between high-tech entrepreneurial ventures and universities: the role of founders’ social ties

Massimo G. Colombo (), Massimiliano Guerini (), Cristina Rossi-Lamastra () and Andrea Bonaccorsi ()
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Massimo G. Colombo: Politecnico Di Milano
Massimiliano Guerini: Politecnico Di Milano
Cristina Rossi-Lamastra: Politecnico Di Milano
Andrea Bonaccorsi: University of Pisa

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2022, vol. 47, issue 1, No 9, 270-306

Abstract: Abstract This paper studies the collaborations between entrepreneurial ventures and universities by investigating the “first match”, namely, the probability that a given entrepreneurial venture, which has never established university collaborations before, forms a collaboration with a given university (out of all the possible collaborations it might have formed). Expanding on the literature about university–industry collaborations, we argue that the formation of the first match is socially bounded. Specifically, we contend that individual social ties, which the founders of an entrepreneurial venture have formed with the personnel of a given university as they worked there, increase the probability of a first match because these ties reduce the costs and increase the benefits of forming a collaboration (H1). We also hypothesize that geographical (H2) and cognitive proximity (H3) between entrepreneurial ventures and universities influence these costs and benefits, thus moderating the relation sub H1. Econometric estimations on a large set of dyads, which represent realized and potential first matches between Italian high-tech entrepreneurial ventures and universities, support our hypotheses.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial ventures; University–industry collaborations; Individual social ties; Geographical proximity; Cognitive proximity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D23 L26 O32 R10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10961-021-09848-3

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