The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1346–1374 | Cite as

Student and graduate entrepreneurship: ambidextrous universities create more nascent entrepreneurs

  • Berna Beyhan
  • Derya Findik


Despite its importance, student and graduate entrepreneurship at universities has received limited scholarly attention. The literature on university entrepreneurship has mainly focused on university scientists who have founded their own firms or spin-offs that were created based on intellectual property that is owned by universities. This paper focuses on technology new ventures that are created by university students and new graduates and aims to investigate the linkages among university-level organizational competencies, the entrepreneurial competencies of nascent entrepreneurs and the number of start-ups that have been created by students and new graduates. Our argument is that universities are heterogeneous in their resources and competencies, and these organizational competencies are influential on students in the development of entrepreneurial competencies and hence in the creation of start-ups. Differences among universities have led to information asymmetries and variances in entrepreneurial competencies among students and graduates. This study uses two data sources at the university level from Turkey. The first is the Technoenterprise Funding Support Program, and the second is the Entrepreneurial and Innovative University Index. Our research covers 40 universities over 3 years from 2012 to 2014, and we apply a panel data methodology. Our research suggests that (1) ambidextrous universities that provide a good context for the exploration and exploitation of new knowledge support their students in the development of entrepreneurial competencies and in starting their own technology new ventures, (2) the traditional role of universities (research and teaching) is important for the creation of entrepreneurial universities and finally, (3) university entrepreneurship is path-dependent.


Student entrepreneurship Graduate entrepreneurship Entrepreneurial competency Technology ventures University Turkey 

JEL Classification

L26 (entrepreneurship) M13 (new firms, start-ups) I23 (higher education) I28 (education-government policy) 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementSabanci UniversityTuzlaTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Management, Department of Management Information SystemsYildirim Beyazit UniversityÇankayaTurkey

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