Agency and similarity effects and the VC’s attitude towards academic spin-out investing
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- Knockaert, M., Wright, M., Clarysse, B. et al. J Technol Transf (2010) 35: 567. doi:10.1007/s10961-009-9138-y
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Our research seeks to develop understanding of the factors explaining venture capital investment managers’ attitudes towards investment in the unique context of academic spin-outs. We provide a novel integration of both VC fund characteristics and investment managers’ human capital characteristics with a unique hand-collected dataset of 68 early stage VC investment managers in Europe. Attitudes toward academic spin-out investing are positively affected by the presence of public sector capital and by investment managers who are more intensively involved with the entrepreneur. Specific human capital in investment managers who had worked in an academic environment is more likely associated with investment in academic spin-outs. In terms of general human capital, financial experience is positively related while entrepreneurial experience is negatively associated with investment attitude towards academic spin-outs. There may be a need to facilitate the attraction of people from industry and investment banking into public VC funds in particular.