Journal of International Entrepreneurship

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 350–377 | Cite as

The role of the entrepreneurial team and the board of directors in the internationalization of academic spin-offs

  • Ekaterina S. BjørnåliEmail author
  • Arild Aspelund


This study addresses the roles of the entrepreneurial team and the board of directors in the internationalization of academic spin-off companies. The study is based on a quantitative analysis of 109 spin-offs from Norwegian academic institutions. The findings suggest that academic spin-offs are more likely to achieve both international strategic alliances and international sales with entrepreneurial teams having industrial experience that is both highly homogeneous (where each member has work experience in the same industry) and highly diverse (where each member has work experience in different industries) and board members that have diverse functional backgrounds. Firms that are less dependent on networking by board members to increase legitimacy and build relationships with potential foreign customers are more likely to achieve international sales.


Internationalization Academic spin-off Team Board Born global International new venture 



The authors would like to thank the participants of the Writing workshop at ICSB World Conference 2011 for comments on an earlier version of this paper and the P. M. Røwdes foundation (Institute for Social Research) and NIFU for their financial support. The authors would also like to thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for valuable feedback.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and EducationOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department for Industrial Economics and Technology ManagementNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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