The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 782–799 | Cite as

How can universities facilitate academic spin-offs? An entrepreneurial competency perspective

  • Einar Rasmussen
  • Mike Wright


Some universities are successfully involved in creating and developing new high-growth technology businesses while others struggle to do so. Clearly, the characteristics of the university and its environment are important, but explain only part of this variation. We explore how universities can promote new research-based businesses by suggesting that the nature of the support supplied depends on the demands of the spin-off firms. Adopting a demand side perspective, we seek to understand the challenges faced by new technology businesses and hence identify how universities can assist their start-up and development. From the academic entrepreneurship literature, we derive how universities can supply support for the development of firm competencies either directly or indirectly. The paper nuances the common conception of a university as one uniform entity in relation to spin-offs, and assesses the literature including all levels within the university, from central university administration, TTO, department, research group, scientist, and students.


Academic entrepreneurship Entrepreneurial competency New venture creation Research commercialization Technology transfer University spin-off 

JEL classification

L26 M13 O31 O32 O38 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nordland Business SchoolBodøNorway
  2. 2.Centre for Management Buy-out ResearchImperial College Business SchoolLondonUK
  3. 3.University of GhentGhentBelgium

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