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The role of venture capitalist to enhance the growth of Spanish and Italian university spin-offs

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Abstract

The establishment of spin-offs to commercialise university knowledge/technology is a potential mechanism to promote economic and innovative development. Nevertheless, University Spin-Offs (USOs) are usually resource-constrained, especially in obtaining funding, limiting their growth. Venture Capital (VC) investors play an important role in the financing and the improvement of their managerial skills, which are critical for firm growth. This paper aims to explore both the effect of VC partners on the USOs’ growth and the cross-national differences in the role played by them. To study both issues, we empirically analysed 516 Spanish and 904 Italian USOs created by 50 Spanish and 57 Italian universities, respectively, and observed them between 2005 and 2013. The results showed different effects in the Spanish and Italian cases. While in Spain the presence of VC partners positively affects the USOs’ growth, in Italy there is not a significant effect. This evidence calls for systematic policies by public administrations and universities to foster USO growth.

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Correspondence to María Jesús Rodríguez-Gulías.

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Rodríguez-Gulías, M.J., Rodeiro-Pazos, D., Fernández-López, S. et al. The role of venture capitalist to enhance the growth of Spanish and Italian university spin-offs. Int Entrep Manag J 14, 1111–1130 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-017-0489-9

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Keywords

  • University spin-offs
  • USO
  • Universities
  • Venture capital
  • Firm growth
  • Cross-country
  • Panel data
  • Spain
  • Italy