Advertisement

The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 343–367 | Cite as

Have you been served? The impact of university entrepreneurial support on start-ups’ network formation

  • Shiri M. Breznitz
  • Paige A. Clayton
  • Daniela Defazio
  • Kimberley R. Isett
Article

Abstract

University-based entrepreneurial support organizations devote increasing efforts to create a context and opportunities for interaction among start-up firms. The basic assumption behind these efforts is that networks facilitate access to knowledge and resources and increase the chances of success for start-ups. However, the mechanisms that facilitate the creation of business ties with other members of the same community are yet to be identified and empirically tested. This paper leverages the social network and firm incubator literatures to hypothesize and test mechanisms that create the context and opportunity for business interaction among member firms within one university-based entrepreneurial support organization. The study uses the empirical setting of a large, university based support organization and the sample includes firms with different levels of membership-support. This empirical context allows us to compare different levels of membership-support and identify the dimensions that have greater impacts on a firm’s opportunity to establish ties with other members. The results reveal that geographical proximity, ad-hoc service support including shared space, and a larger community of member and graduate firms to which network ties may be formed increases the chance of connecting with other past or current member firms.

Keywords

Entrepreneurial support organizations University Networks 

JEL Classification

C30 I22 I23 O3 O51 

References

  1. Aernoudt, R. (2004). Incubators: Tool for entrepreneurship? Small Business Economics, 23, 127–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmad, A. J., & Ingle, S. (2011). Relationships matter: Case study of a university campus incubator. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 17(6), 626–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aldrich, H., & Auster, E. R. (1986). Even dwarfs started small: Liabilities of age and size and their strategic implications. Research in Organizational Behavior, 8, 165–198.Google Scholar
  4. Aldrich, H. E., & Kim, P. H. (2007). Small worlds, infinite possibilities? How social networks affect entrepreneurial team formation and search. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1, 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Aldrich, H, Rosen, B., & Woodward, W. (1987). The Impact of social networks on business founding and profit: A longitudinal study. In Babson entrepreneurship conference. Malibu, CA: Pepperdine University.Google Scholar
  6. Aldrich, H., & Zimmer, C. (1986). Entrepreneurship through social networks. In D. L. Sexton, & R. W. Smilor (Eds.), The art and science of entrepreneurship (pp. 3–23). Cambridge, Mass: Ballinger Pub. Co.Google Scholar
  7. Alter, C., & Hage, J. (1993). Organizations working together. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Bøllingtoft, A. (2012). The bottom-up business incubator: Leverage to networking and cooperation practices in a self-generated, entrepreneurial-enabled environment. Technovation, 32(5), 304–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bøllingtoft, A., & Ulhøi, J. P. (2005). The networked business incubator—leveraging entrepreneurial agency? Journal of Business Venturing, 20, 265–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bresnahan, T., Gambardella, A., & Saxenian, A. (2001). ‘Old economy’ inputs for ‘new economy’ outcomes: Cluster formation in the new Silicon Valleys. Industrial and Corporate Change, 10(4), 835–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Breznitz, D., & Taylor, M. (2014). The communal roots of entrepreneurial-technological growth—social fragmentation and stagnation. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 26(3–4), 375–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Broekel, T., & Boschma, R. (2012). Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: The proximity paradox. Journal of Economic Geography, 12(2), 409–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brüderl, J., & Preisendörfer, P. (1998). Network support and the success of newly found businesses. Small Business Economics, 10(3), 213–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bruneel, J., Ratinho, T., Clarysse, B., & Groen, A. (2012). The evolution of business incubators: Comparing demand and supply of business incubation services across different incubator generations. Technovation, 32(2), 110–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carayannis, E. G., & von Zedtwitz, M. (2005). Architecting gloCal (global local), real-virtual incubator networks (G-RVINs) as catalysts and accelerators of entrepreneurship in transitioning and developing economies: Lessons learned and best practices from current development and business incubation practices. Technovation, 25(2), 95–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cooper, C. E., Hamel, S. A., & Connaughton, S. L. (2012). Motivations and obstacles to networking in a university business incubator. Journal of Technology Transfer, 37, 433–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dutt, N., Hawn, O., Vidal, E., Chatterji, A., McGahan, A., & Mitchell, W. (2016). How open system intermediaries fill voids in market-based institutions: The case of business incubators in emerging markets. Academy of Management Journal, 59(3), 818–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ebbers, J. J. (2014). Networking behavior and contracting relationships among entrepreneurs in business incubators. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38, 1159–1181. doi: 10.1111/etap.12032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Elfring, T., & Hulsink, W. (2003). Networks in entrepreneurship: The case of high technology firms. Small Business Economics, 21, 409–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Elfring, T., & Hulsink, W. (2007). Networking by entrepreneurs: Patterns of tie—formation in emerging organizations. Organization Studies, 28(12), 1849–1872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Feld, B. (2012). Startup communities: Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your city. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Feldman, M., Francis, J., & Bercovitz, J. (2005). Creating a cluster while building a firm: Entrepreneurs and the formation of industrial clusters. Reginal Studies, 39(1), 129–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fernández-Alles, M., Camelo-Ordaz, C., & Franco-Leal, N. (2015). Key resources and actors for the evolution of academic spin-offs. Journal of Technology Transfer, 40, 976–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Freel, M. S., & de Jong, J. P. J. (2009). Market novelty, competence-seeking and innovation networking. Technovation, 29, 873–884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Glückler, J. (2007). Economic geography and the evolution of networks. Journal of Economic Geography, 7(5), 619–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Granovetter, M. (2005). The impact on social structures on economic outcomes. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(1), 33–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gulati, R. (1998). Alliances and networks. Strategic Management Journal, 19, 293–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gulati, R., & Westphal, J. D. (1999). Cooperative or controlling? The effects of CEO-board relations and the content of interlocks on the formation of joint ventures. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(3), 473–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gurmu, S., & Trivedi, P. K. (1996). Excess zeros in count models for recreational trips. Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 14(4), 469–477.Google Scholar
  31. Hallen, B. L., & Eisendhardt, K. M. (2012). Catalyzing strategies and efficient tie formation: How entrepreneurial firms obtain investment ties. Academy of Management Journal, 55(1), 35–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hansen, M. T., Chesbrough, H. W., Nohria, N., & Sull, D. N. (2000). Networked incubators: Hothouses of the new economy. Harvard Business Review, 78, 74–84.Google Scholar
  33. Haunschild, P. R. (1993). Interorganiational imitation: The impact of interlocks on corporate acquisition activity. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38(4), 564–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Havnes, R., & Senneseth, K. (2001). A panel study of firm growth among SMEs in networks. Small Business Economics, 16, 293–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hoang, H., & Antoncic, B. (2003). Network-based research in entrepreneurship: A critical review. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(2), 165–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Homan, G. C. (1950). The human group. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co.Google Scholar
  37. Huggins, R., & Thompson, P. (2015). Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional growth: A network theory. Small Business Economics, 45, 103–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hughes, M., Ireland, R. D., & Morgan, R. E. (2007). Stimulating dynamic value: Social capital and business incubation as a pathway to competitive success. Long Range Planning, 40, 154–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hughley, I. (2013) Personal communication.Google Scholar
  40. Kim, P. H., & Aldrich, H. E. (2005). Social capital and entrepreneurship. Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship, 1(2), 55–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Larson, A. (1992). Network dyads in entrepreneurial settings: A study of the governance of network exchange relationships. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 76–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lasrado, V., Sivo, S., Ford, C., O’Neal, T., & Garibay, I. (2016). Do graduated university incubator firms benefit from their relationship with university incubators? Journal of Technology Transfer, 41(2), 205–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Laumann, E. O., Galaskiewicz, J., & Marsden, P. V. (1978). Community structure as interorganizational linkages. Annual Review of Sociology, 4(1), 455–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lewis, D. A., Harper-Anderson, E., & Molnar, L. A. (2011). Incubating success: Incubation best practices that lead to successful new ventures. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Research on Labor Employment, and the Economy. University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  45. Leyden, D. P., Link, A. N., & Siegel, D. S. (2008). A theoretical and empirical analysis of the decision to locate on a university research park. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 55(1), 23–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Link, A. N., & Scott, J. T. (2003). The growth of research triangle park. Small Business Economics, 20, 167–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Link, A. N., & Scott, J. T. (2005). Opening the ivory tower’s door: An analysis of the determinants of the formation of U.S. university spin-off companies. Research Policy, 34(7), 1106–1112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Löfsten, H., & Lindelöf, P. (2005). R&D networks and product innovation patterns—academic and non-academic new technology-based firms on Science Parks. Technovation, 25, 1025–1037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lyons, T. (2000). Birthing economic development: How effective are Michigan’s business incubators?. East Lansing, MI: Social Science Research Bureau, Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  50. MacCallum, R. C., Zhang, S., Preacher, K. J., & Rucker, D. D. (2002). On the practice of dichotomization of quantitative variables. Psychological Methods, 7(1), 19–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McAdam, M., & Marlow, S. (2007). Building futures or stealing secrets? Entrepreneurial cooperation and conflict within business incubators. International Small Business Journal, 25(4), 361–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. McAdam, M., & McAdam, R. (2008). High tech start-ups in University Science Park incubators: The relationship between the start-up’s lifecycle progression and use of the incubator’s resources. Technovation, 28, 277–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mian, S. A. (2011). University’s involvement in technology business incubation: What theory and practice tell us? International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 13(2), 113–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mizruchi, M. S. (1996). What do interlocks do? An analysis, critique, and assessment of research on interlocking directorates. Annual Review of Sociology, 22, 271–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Moriset, B. (2014). Building new places of the creative economy. The rise of coworking spaces. In Proceedings of the 2nd geography of innovation, international conference. Utrecht (The Netherlands): Utrecht University.Google Scholar
  56. Ostrom, E. (1998). A behavioral approach to the rational choice theory of collective action: Presidential address, American Political Science Association. American Political Science Review, 92(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Owen-Smith, J., & Powell, W. W. (2004). Knowledge networks as channels and conduits: The effects of spillovers in the Boston biotechnology community. Organization Science, 15(5), 5–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Phan, P. H., Siegel, D. S., & Wright, M. (2005). Science parks and incubators: Observations, synthesis and future research. Journal of Business Venturing, 20, 165–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Powell, W. W. (1990). Neither markets nor hirerchey: Network forms of organization. Research on Organizational Behaviour, 12, 295–336.Google Scholar
  60. Powell, W. W., Koput, W. K., & Smith-Doerr, L. (1996). Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(1), 116–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Provan, K. G., Milward, H. B., & Isett, K. R. (2004). Cooperation and compromise: Conflicting institutional pressures on interorganizational collaboration. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 33(3), 489–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sarkar, M. B., Echambadi, R., & Harrison, J. S. (2001). Alliance entrepreneurship and firm market performance. Strategic Management Journal, 22, 701–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schwartz, M., & Hornych, C. (2008). Specialization as strategy for business incubators: An assessment of the central German multimedia center. Technovation, 28(7), 436–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Schwartz, M., & Hornych, C. (2010). Cooperation patterns of incubator firms and the impact of industry specialization: Empirical evidence from Germany. Technovation, 30, 485–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Shan, W., Walker, G., & Kogut, B. (1994). Interfirm cooperation and startup innovation in the biotechnology industry. Strategic Management Journal, 15, 387–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sherman, H., & Chappell, D. S. (1998). Methodological challenges in evaluating business incubator outcomes. Economic Development Quarterly, 12(4), 313–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Slotte-Kock, S., & Coviello, N. (2010). Entrepreneurship research on network processes: A review and ways forward. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 34(1), 31–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smilor, R. W. (1987). Managing the incubator system: Critical success factors to accelerate new company development. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 34(3), 146–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Soetanto, D. P., & Jack, S. L. (2013). Business incubators and the networks of technology-based firms. Journal of Technology Transfer, 38, 432–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Stinchcombe, A. L. (1965). Social structure and organizations. In J. G. March (Ed.), Handbook of organizations (pp. 142–193). New York, NY: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  71. Stuart, T. E., & Sorenson, O. (2007). Strategic networks and entrepreneurial ventures. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1(3–4), 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sullivan, B. N., & Tang, Y. (2013). Which signal to rely on? The impact of the quality of board interlocks and inventive capabilities on research and development alliance formation under uncertainty. Strategic Organization, 11, 364–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Tello, S., Yang, Y., & Latham, S. (2012). Nascent entrepreneurs access and use of network resources in a technology incubator. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 25(3), 375–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Thompson, J. D. (1967). Organizations in action. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  75. Toon, J. (2013). Georgia Tech’s VentureLab ranks second among university-based incubators worldwide. Research News: Georgia Institute of Technology. http://www.news.gatech.edu/2013/07/15/georgia-tech%E2%80%99s-venturelab-ranks-second-among-university-based-incubators-worldwide.
  76. Tornatzky, L. G., & Rideout, E. C. (2014). Innovation 2.0: Reinventing university roles in a knowledge economy. http://www.innovation-u.com/.
  77. Uzzi, B. (1999). Embeddedness in the making of financial capital: How social relations and networks benefit firms seeking financing. American Sociological Review, 64, 481–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Vedovello, C. (1997). Science parks and university-industry interaction: Geographical proximity between the agents as a driving force. Technovation, 17(9), 491–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. VentureLab. (2013). Georgia Tech VentureLab. http://venturelab.gatech.edu/.
  80. Von Zedtwitz, M., & Grimaldi, R. (2006). Are service profiles incubator-specific? Results from an empirical investigation in Italy. Journal of Technology Transfer, 31, 459–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wennberg, K., Wiklund, J., & Wright, M. (2011). The effectiveness of university knowledge spillovers: Performance between university spinoffs and corporate spinoffs. Research Policy, 40, 1128–1143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Westphal, J. D., Seidel, M.-D. L., & Stewart, K. J. (2001). Second-order imitation: Uncovering latent effects of board network ties. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(4), 717–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Whittington, K. B., Owen-Smith, J., & Powell, W. W. (2009). Networks, propinquity, and innovation in knowledge-intensive industries. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54, 90–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Yang, C.-H., Motohashi, K., & Chen, J.-R. (2009). Are new technology-based firms located on science parks really more innovative? Evidence from Taiwan. Research Policy, 38, 77–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Zhao, L., & Aram, J. D. (1995). Networking and growth of young technology-intensive ventures in China. Journal of Business Venturing, 10, 349–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiri M. Breznitz
    • 1
  • Paige A. Clayton
    • 2
  • Daniela Defazio
    • 3
  • Kimberley R. Isett
    • 4
  1. 1.Munk School of Global AffairsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.School of ManagementUniversity of BathBathUK
  4. 4.School of Public PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations