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Key resources and actors for the evolution of academic spin-offs

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Abstract

The objectives of this research are to identify theoretically the resources and competences critical for ASO development, and to analyse empirically the actors from the academic and market contexts who supply them at two stages of development: creation and initial development and consolidation stages. Departing from the resource-based view, path dependence theory, and the stage-based model, and inspired by Vohora et al. (Res Policy 33(1):147–175, 2004), our starting point is the thesis that an ASO makes a successful transition to the next stage of development when it has acquired the resources critical for success in the previous stage and that this acquisition depends on the relationships established with actors from different contexts. From an analysis of 167 Spanish ASOs, our results show that in the creation and initial development stage, academic actors do not provide ASOs critical resources and competences for growth. Technological transfer offices and university incubators only supply managerial competences, while research colleagues provide technological support. However, government institutions and Science park are very relevant actors that assume a key role for future ASOs consolidation. In the consolidation stage, customers and suppliers provide solid commercial competences. In both stages, venture capital firms are relevant market actors that provide not only financial resources, but also market credibility to make the successful transition from one stage to another. Our findings offer significant implications, both theoretical and practical, for networks and the academic entrepreneurship literature.

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Fernández-Alles, M., Camelo-Ordaz, C. & Franco-Leal, N. Key resources and actors for the evolution of academic spin-offs. J Technol Transf 40, 976–1002 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-014-9387-2

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