Early-stage finance and the role of external entrepreneurs in the commercialization of university-generated knowledge
Jonas Gabrielsson () and
Venture Capital, 2012, vol. 14, issue 2-3, 175-198
The past decade has seen a plethora of policy initiatives that seek to bridge the chasm between investments in public R&D and its effective diffusion in society. This article uses a case study approach to explore and contrast the effectiveness of different entrepreneur models in financing and developing university spin-offs (USOs). The distinction between different entrepreneur models is based on whether the USOs are championed by university employees that seek to commercialize their own inventions or by external entrepreneurs who are not the original inventors but with acquired rights to develop and commercialize technology originating from university research. Our analysis show that external entrepreneurs have a different mind-set that makes them better equipped to deal with opportunities and obstacles related to financing and developing USOs. However, the development paths of USOs are embedded in a more complex web of path-dependent interactions, where the championship of the USO becomes interwoven with existing and emerging social relationships and opportunities, and challenges related to the technology that is commercialized.
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