The literature examining university spin-offs is expanding rapidly. While most studies have examined the antecedents of spin-off creation at universities, the impact of spin-offs commercializing university research cannot be properly assessed without considering how these firms develop, grow, and perform over time. This study provides a systematic review of a recent research stream addressing the development, growth, and performance of university spin-offs. By critically analyzing 105 research papers published since 2000, this paper makes two main contributions. First, we present a conceptual framework outlining the variety of outcomes used in the literature to assess the development, growth and performance of university spin-offs, as well as the determinants of these outcomes at different levels of analysis. Second, we critically assess gaps in the extant literature and discuss promising directions for future research. We conclude that the university spin-off phenomenon provides an excellent empirical context for conducting research that contributes to more general theoretical discussions related to entrepreneurship, innovation and management.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
The literature search was conducted in October 2016.
The journals are, in order of coverage in the database: Journal of Technology Transfer, Research Policy, Technovation, R&D Management, Management Science, Journal of Business Venturing, Industrial and Corporate Change, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.
Mixed method studies are divided equally between the qualitative and quantitative studies.
We would like to thank an anonymous reviewer for this point.
Agrawal, A. (2001). University-to-industry knowledge transfer: Literature review and unanswered questions. International Journal of Management Reviews,3, 285–302.
Aldridge, T., & Audretsch, D. B. (2010). Does policy influence the commercialization route? Evidence from National Institutes of Health funded scientists. Research Policy,39, 583–588.
Ambos, T. C., & Birkinshaw, J. (2010). How do new ventures evolve? An inductive study of archetype changes in science-based ventures. Organization Science,21, 1125–1140.
Amezcua, A. S., Grimes, M. G., Bradley, S. W., & Wiklund, J. (2013). Organizational sponsorship and founding environments: A contingency view on the survival of business-incubated firms, 1994–2007. Academy of Management Journal,56, 1628–1654.
Astebro, T. (2003). The return to independent invention: Evidence of unrealistic optimism, risk seeking or skewness loving? Economic Journal,113, 226–239.
Astebro, T., Bazzazian, N., & Braguinsky, S. (2012). Startups by recent university graduates and their faculty: Implications for university entrepreneurship policy. Research Policy,41, 663–677.
Astebro, T., Braunerhjelm, P., & Brostrom, A. (2013). Does academic entrepreneurship pay? Industrial and Corporate Change,22, 281–311.
Bathelt, H., Kogler, D. F., & Munro, A. K. (2010). A knowledge-based typology of university spin-offs in the context of regional economic development. Technovation,30, 519–532.
Bekkers, R., Gilsing, V., & van der Steen, M. (2006). Determining factors of the effectiveness of IP-based spin-offs: Comparing the Netherlands and the US. Journal of Technology Transfer,31, 545–566.
Benneworth, P., & Charles, D. (2005). University spin-off policies and economic development in less successful regions: Learning from two decades of policy practice. European Planning Studies,13, 537–557.
Bigdeli, A. Z., Li, F., & Shi, X. H. (2016). Sustainability and scalability of university spinouts: A business model perspective. R & D Management,46, 504–518.
Bjornali, E. S., & Gulbrandsen, M. (2010). Exploring board formation and evolution of board composition in academic spin-offs. Journal of Technology Transfer,35, 92–112.
Bjornali, E. S., Knockaert, M., & Erikson, T. (2016). The impact of top management team characteristics and board service involvement on team effectiveness in high-tech start-ups. Long Range Planning,49, 447–463.
Boh, W. F., De-Haan, U., & Strom, R. (2016). University technology transfer through entrepreneurship: Faculty and students in spinoffs. Journal of Technology Transfer,41, 661–669.
Bonardo, D., Paleari, S., & Vismara, S. (2010). The M&A dynamics of European science-based entrepreneurial firms. Journal of Technology Transfer,35, 141–180.
Bonardo, D., Paleari, S., & Vismara, S. (2011). Valuing university-based firms: The effects of academic affiliation on IPO performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,35, 755–776.
Bower, D. J. (2003). Business model fashion and the academic spinout firm. R & D Management,33, 97–106.
Bozeman, B. (2000). Technology transfer and public policy: A review of research and theory. Research Policy,29, 627–655.
Cattaneo, M., Meoli, M., & Vismara, S. (2015). Cross-border M&As of biotech firms affiliated with internationalized universities. Journal of Technology Transfer,40, 409–433.
Chiesa, V., & Piccaluga, A. (2000). Exploitation and diffusion of public research: The case of academic spin-off companies in Italy. R & D Management,30, 329–339.
Clarysse, B., & Moray, N. (2004). A process study of entrepreneurial team formation: The case of a research-based spin-off. Journal of Business Venturing,19, 55–79.
Clarysse, B., Wright, M., Lockett, A., Mustar, P., & Knockaert, M. (2007). Academic spin-offs, formal technology transfer and capital raising. Industrial and Corporate Change,16, 609–640.
Clarysse, B., Wright, M., Lockett, A., Van de Velde, E., & Vohora, A. (2005). Spinning out new ventures: A typology of incubation strategies from European research institutions. Journal of Business Venturing,20, 183–216.
Clarysse, B., Wright, M., & Van de Velde, E. (2011). Entrepreneurial origin, technological knowledge, and the growth of spin-off companies. Journal of Management Studies,48, 1420–1442.
Clausen, T. H., & Rasmussen, E. (2013). Parallel business models and the innovativeness of research-based spin-off ventures. Journal of Technology Transfer,38, 1–14.
Coad, A., Frankish, J., Roberts, R. G., & Storey, D. J. (2013). Growth paths and survival chances: An application of Gambler’s Ruin theory. Journal of Business Venturing,28, 615–632.
Colombo, M. G., D’Adda, D., & Piva, E. (2010). The contribution of university research to the growth of academic start-ups: An empirical analysis. Journal of Technology Transfer,35, 113–140.
Colombo, M. G., Doganova, L., Piva, E., D’Adda, D., & Mustar, P. (2015). Hybrid alliances and radical innovation: The performance implications of integrating exploration and exploitation. Journal of Technology Transfer,40, 696–722.
Colombo, M. G., & Piva, E. (2012). Firms’ genetic characteristics and competence-enlarging strategies: A comparison between academic and non-academic high-tech start-ups. Research Policy,41, 79–92.
Conceicao, O., Fontes, M., & Calapez, T. (2012). The commercialisation decisions of research-based spin-off: Targeting the market for technologies. Technovation,32, 43–56.
Corolleur, C. D. F., Carrere, A., & Mangematin, V. (2004). Turning scientific and technological human capital into economic capital: The experience of biotech start-ups in France. Research Policy,33, 631–642.
Crawford, G. C., Aguinis, H., Lichtenstein, B., Davidsson, P., & McKelvey, B. (2015). Power law distributions in entrepreneurship: Implications for theory and research. Journal of Business Venturing,30, 696–713.
Criaco, G., Minola, T., Migliorini, P., & Serarols-Tarrés, C. (2014). “To have and have not”: Founders’ human capital and university start-up survival. Journal of Technology Transfer,39, 1–27.
Czarnitzki, D., Rammer, C., & Toole, A. A. (2014). University spin-offs and the “performance premium”. Small Business Economics,43, 309–326.
Degroof, J. J., & Roberts, E. B. (2004). Overcoming weak entrepreneurial infrastructures for academic spin-off ventures. Journal of Technology Transfer,29, 327–352.
Delmar, F., McKelvie, A., & Wennberg, K. (2013). Untangling the relationships among growth, profitability and survival in new firms. Technovation,33, 276–291.
Dianez-Gonzalez, J. P., & Camelo-Ordaz, C. (2016). How management team composition affects academic spin-offs’ entrepreneurial orientation: The mediating role of conflict. Journal of Technology Transfer,41, 530–557.
Diez-Vial, I., & Montoro-Sanchez, A. (2016). How knowledge links with universities may foster innovation: The case of a science park. Technovation,50–51, 41–52.
Djokovic, D., & Souitaris, V. (2008). Spinouts from academic institutions: A literature review with suggestions for further research. Journal of Technology Transfer,33, 225–247.
Druilhe, C., & Garnsey, E. (2004). Do academic spin-outs differ and does it matter? Journal of Technology Transfer,29, 269–285.
Ensley, M. D., & Hmieleski, K. A. (2005). A comparative study of new venture top management team composition, dynamics and performance between university-based and independent start-ups. Research Policy,34, 1091–1105.
Epure, M., Prior, D., & Serarols, C. (2016). Assessing technology-based spin-offs from university support units. Regional Studies,50, 411–428.
Etzkowitz, H. (2002). MIT and the rise of entrepreneurial science. London: Routledge.
Federico, J. S., & Capelleras, J. L. (2015). The heterogeneous dynamics between growth and profits: The case of young firms. Small Business Economics,44, 231–253.
Fernandez-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.
Fini, R., Fu, K., Mathisen, M. T., Rasmussen, E., & Wright, M. (2017). Institutional determinants of university spin-off quantity and quality: A longitudinal, multilevel, cross-country study. Small Business Economics,48, 361–391.
Fini, R., Lacetera, N., & Shane, S. (2010). Inside or outside the IP system? Business creation in academia. Research Policy,39, 1060–1069.
Fini, R., Rasmussen, E., Siegel, D., & Wiklund, J. (2018). Rethinking the commercialization of public science: From entrepreneurial outcomes to societal impacts. Academy of Management Perspectives,32, 4–20.
Fisher, G., Kotha, S., & Lahiri, A. (2016). Changing with the times: An integrated view of identity, legitimacy, and new venture lifce cycles. Academy of Management Review,41, 383–409.
Fontes, M. (2005). The process of transformation of scientific and technological knowledge into economic value conducted by biotechnology spin-offs. Technovation,25, 339–347.
Franklin, S. J., Wright, M., & Lockett, A. (2001). Academic and surrogate entrepreneurs in university spin-out companies. Journal of Technology Transfer,26, 127–141.
Fryges, H., & Wright, M. (2014). The origin of spin-offs: A typology of corporate and academic spin-offs. Small Business Economics,43, 245–259.
Fuller, A. W., & Rothaermel, F. T. (2012). When stars shine: The effects of faculty founders on new technology ventures. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal,6, 220–235.
Gans, J. S., & Stern, S. (2003). The product market and the market for “ideas”: Commercialization strategies for technology entrepreneurs. Research Policy,32, 333–350.
Garnsey, E., & Heffernan, P. (2005). High-technology clustering through spin-out and attraction: The Cambridge case. Regional Studies,39, 1127–1144.
Geuna, A., & Muscio, A. (2009). The governance of university knowledge transfer: A critical review of the literature. Minerva,47, 93–114.
Gilsing, V. A., van Burg, E., & Romme, A. G. L. (2010). Policy principles for the creation and success of corporate and academic spin-offs. Technovation,30, 12–23.
Grandi, A., & Grimaldi, R. (2003). Exploring the networking characteristics of new venture founding teams. Small Business Economics,21, 329–341.
Greenhalgh, T., & Peacock, R. (2005). Effectiveness and efficiency of search methods in systematic reviews of complex evidence: Audit of primary sources. British Medical Journal,331, 1064–1065.
Grimaldi, R., Kenney, M., Siegel, D. S., & Wright, M. (2011). 30 years after Bayh–Dole: Reassessing academic entrepreneurship. Research Policy,40, 1045–1057.
Gubitta, P., Tognazzo, A., & Destro, F. (2016). Signaling in academic ventures: The role of technology transfer offices and university funds. Journal of Technology Transfer,41, 368–393.
Gulbrandsen, M. (2011). Research institutes as hybrid organizations: Central challenges to their legitimacy. Policy Sciences,44, 215–230.
Gurdon, M. A., & Samsom, K. J. (2010). A longitudinal study of success and failure among scientist-started ventures. Technovation,30, 207–214.
Hall, B., Helmers, C., Rogers, M., & Sena, V. (2014). The choice between formal and informal intellectual property: A review. Journal of Economic Literature,52, 375–423.
Harrison, R. T., & Leitch, C. (2010). Voodoo institution or entrepreneurial university? Spin-off companies, the entrepreneurial system and regional development in the UK. Regional Studies,44, 1241–1262.
Hayter, C. S. (2011). In search of the profit-maximizing actor: Motivations and definitions of success from nascent academic entrepreneurs. Journal of Technology Transfer,36, 340–352.
Hayter, C. S. (2013). Conceptualizing knowledge-based entrepreneurship networks: Perspectives from the literature. Small Business Economics,41, 899–911.
Hayter, C. S. (2015). Social networks and the success of university spin-offs: Toward an agenda for regional growth. Economic Development Quarterly,29, 3–13.
Hayter, C. S. (2016a). Constraining entrepreneurial development: A knowledge-based view of social networks among academic entrepreneurs. Research Policy,45, 475–490.
Hayter, C. S. (2016b). A trajectory of early-stage spinoff success: The role of knowledge intermediaries within an entrepreneurial university ecosystem. Small Business Economics,47, 633–656.
Hayter, C. S., Lubynsky, R., & Maroulis, S. (2016). Who is the academic entrepreneur? The role of graduate students in the development of university spinoffs. The Journal of Technology Transfer,42, 1–18.
Hayter, C. S., Nelson, A. J., Zayed, S., & O’Connor, A. C. (2018). Conceptualizing academic entrepreneurship ecosystems: A review, analysis and extension of the literature. The Journal of Technology Transfer,43, 1–44.
Heblich, S., & Slavtchev, V. (2013). Parent universities and the location of academic startups. Small Business Economics,42, 1–15.
Hindle, K., & Yencken, J. (2004). Public research commercialisation, entrepreneurship and new technology based firms: An integrated model. Technovation,24, 793–803.
Hirai, Y., Watanabe, T., & Inuzuka, A. (2013). Empirical analysis of the effect of Japanese university spinoffs’ social networks on their performance. Technological Forecasting and Social Change,80, 1119–1128.
Jacobsson, S., Lindholm-Dahlstrand, A., & Elg, L. (2013). Is the commercialization of European academic R&D weak? A critical assessment of a dominant belief and associated policy responses. Research Policy,42, 874–885.
Johansson, M., Jacob, M., & Hellström, T. (2005). The strength of strong ties: University spin-offs and the significance of historical relations. Journal of Technology Transfer,30, 271–286.
Karnani, F. (2013). The university’s unknown knowledge: Tacit knowledge, technology transfer and university spin-offs findings from an empirical study based on the theory of knowledge. Journal of Technology Transfer,38, 235–250.
Kassicieh, S. (2011). Benefits from using surrogate entrepreneurs in technology commercialization. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management,8, 521–534.
Kirchberger, M. A., & Pohl, L. (2016). Technology commercialization: A literature review of success factors and antecedents across different contexts. The Journal of Technology Transfer,41, 1–36.
Klofsten, M. (2005). New venture ideas: An analysis of their origin and early development. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management,17, 105–119.
Knockaert, M., Bjornali, E. S., & Erikson, T. (2015). Joining forces: Top management team and board chair characteristics as antecedents of board service involvement. Journal of Business Venturing,30, 420–435.
Knockaert, M., Spithoven, A., & Clarysse, B. (2010). The knowledge paradox explored: What is impeding the creation of ICT spin-offs? Technology Analysis & Strategic Management,22, 479–493.
Knockaert, M., Ucbasaran, D., Wright, M., & Clarysse, B. (2011). The relationship between knowledge transfer, top management team composition, and performance: The case of science-based entrepreneurial firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,35, 777–803.
Kochenkova, A., Grimaldi, R., & Munari, F. (2016). Public policy measures in support of knowledge transfer activities: A review of academic literature. Journal of Technology Transfer,41, 407–429.
Lawton Smith, S. H., & Ho, K. (2006). Measuring the performance of Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University and the government laboratories’ spin-off companies. Research Policy,35, 1554–1568.
Lawton Smith, H., Romeoa, S., & Bagchi-Senb, S. (2008). Oxfordshire biomedical university spin-offs: An evolving system. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society,1, 303–319.
Lehoux, P., Daudelin, G., Williams-Jones, B., Denis, J. L., & Longo, C. (2014). How do business model and health technology design influence each other? Insights from a longitudinal case study of three academic spin-offs. Research Policy,43, 1025–1038.
Leitch, C. M., & Harrison, R. T. (2005). Maximising the potential of university spin-outs: The development of second-order commercialisation activities. R & D Management,35, 257–272.
Lejpras, A. (2014). How innovative are spin-offs at later stages of development? Comparing innovativeness of established research spin-offs and otherwise created firms. Small Business Economics,43, 327–351.
Lerner, J. (2004). The university and the start-up: Lessons from the past two decades. Journal of Technology Transfer,30, 49–56.
Leyden, D. P., Link, A. N., & Siegel, D. S. (2014). A theoretical analysis of the role of social networks in entrepreneurship. Research Policy,43, 1157–1163.
Lofsten, H., & Lindelof, P. (2005). R&D networks and product innovation patterns—Academic and non-academic new technology-based firms on Science Parks. Technovation,25, 1025–1037.
Lowe, R. A., & Ziedonis, A. A. (2006). Overoptimism and the performance of entrepreneurial firms. Management Science,52, 173–186.
Lubik, S., & Garnsey, E. (2016). Early business model evolution in science-based ventures: The case of advanced materials. Long Range Planning,49, 393–408.
Lubik, S., Garnsey, E., Minshall, T., & Platts, K. (2013). Value creation from the innovation environment: Partnership strategies in university spin-outs. R & D Management,43, 136–150.
Lundqvist, M. A. (2014). The importance of surrogate entrepreneurship for incubated Swedish technology ventures. Technovation,34, 93–100.
Maine, E., & Garnsey, E. (2006). Commercializing generic technology: The case of advanced materials ventures. Research Policy,35, 375–393.
Mathisen, M. T. (2017). The growth of research-based spin-offs: Unleashing the value of academic entrepreneurship. Trondheim: Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
McKelvie, A., & Wiklund, J. (2010). Advancing firm growth research: A focus on growth mode instead of growth rate. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,34, 261–288.
McMullen, J. S., & Dimov, D. (2013). Time and the entrepreneurial journey: The problems and promise of studying entrepreneurship as a process. Journal of Management Studies,50, 1481–1512.
Mcqueen, D. H., & Wallmark, J. T. (1982). Spin-off companies from chalmers-university-of-technology. Technovation,1, 305–315.
Meoli, M., Paleari, S., & Vismara, S. (2013). Completing the technology transfer process: M&As of science-based IPOs. Small Business Economics,40, 227–248.
Meyer, M. (2003). Academic entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial academics? Research-based ventures and public support mechanism. R & D Management,33, 107–115.
Miozzo, M., & DiVito, L. (2016). Growing fast or slow?: Understanding the variety of paths and the speed of early growth of entrepreneurial science-based firms. Research Policy,45, 964–986.
Moray, N., & Clarysse, B. (2005). Institutional change and resource endowments to science-based entrepreneurial firms. Research Policy,34, 1010–1027.
Mosey, S., & Wright, M. (2007). From human capital to social capital: A longitudinal study of technology-based academic entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,31, 909–935.
Mueller, C., Westhead, P., & Wright, M. (2012). Formal venture capital acquisition: can entrepreneurs compensate for the spatial proximity benefits of South East England and ‘star’ golden-triangle universities? Environment and Planning A,44, 281–296.
Munari, F., Pasquini, M., & Toschi, L. (2015). From the lab to the stock market? The characteristics and impact of university-oriented seed funds in Europe. Journal of Technology Transfer,40, 948–975.
Munari, F., & Toschi, L. (2011). Do venture capitalists have a bias against investment in academic spin-offs? Evidence from the micro- and nanotechnology sector in the UK. Industrial and Corporate Change,20, 397–432.
Murray, F. (2004). The role of academic inventors in entrepreneurial firms: Sharing the laboratory life. Research Policy,33, 643–659.
Mustar, P., Renault, M., Colombo, M. G., Piva, E., Fontes, M., Lockett, A., et al. (2006). Conceptualising the heterogeneity of research-based spin-offs: A multi-dimensional taxonomy. Research Policy,35, 289–308.
Mustar, P., Wright, M., & Clarysse, B. (2008). University spin-off firms: Lessons from ten years of experience in Europe. Science and Public Policy,35, 67–80.
Neck, H. M., Meyer, G. D., Cohen, B., & Corbett, A. C. (2004). An entrepreneurial system view of new venture creation. Journal of Small Business Management,42, 190–208.
Nelson, A. J. (2014). From the ivory tower to the startup garage: Organizational context and commercialization processes. Research Policy,43, 1144–1156.
Nerkar, A., & Shane, S. (2003). When do start-ups that exploit patented academic knowledge survive? International Journal of Industrial Organization,21, 1391–1410.
Nicolaou, N., & Birley, S. (2003a). Academic networks in a trichotomous categorisation of university spinouts. Journal of Business Venturing,18, 333–359.
Nicolaou, N., & Birley, S. (2003b). Social networks in organizational emergence: The university spinout phenomenon. Management Science,49, 1702–1725.
Nikiforou, A., Zabara, T., Clarysse, B., & Gruber, M. (2018). The role of teams in academic spin-offs. Academy of Management Perspectives,32, 78–103.
Niosi, J. (2006). Success factors in Canadian academic spin-offs. Journal of Technology Transfer,31, 451–457.
O’Gorman, C., Byrne, O., & Pandya, D. (2008). How scientists commercialise new knowledge via entrepreneurship. Journal of Technology Transfer,33, 23–43.
Ortin-Angel, P., & Vendrell-Herrero, F. (2014). University spin-offs vs. other NTBFs: Total factor productivity differences at outset and evolution. Technovation,34, 101–112.
O’Shea, R. P., Chugh, H., & Allen, T. J. (2008). Determinants and consequences of university spinoff activity: A conceptual framework. Journal of Technology Transfer,33, 653–666.
Patzelt, H., & Shepherd, D. A. (2009). Strategic entrepreneurship at universities: Academic entrepreneurs’ assessment of policy programs. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,33, 319–340.
Perez, M. P., & Sanchez, A. M. (2003). The development of university spin-offs: Early dynamics of technology transfer and networking. Technovation,23, 823–831.
Pirnay, F., Surlemont, B., & Nlemvo, F. (2003). Toward a typology of university spin-offs. Small Business Economics,21, 355–369.
Pisano, G. P. (2010). The evolution of science-based business: Innovating how we innovate. Industrial and Corporate Change,19, 465–482.
Powell, E. E., & Baker, T. (2017). In the beginning: identity processes and organizing in multi-founder nascent ventures. Academy of Management Journal,60, 2381–2414.
Powers, J. B., & McDougall, P. P. (2005). University start-up formation and technology licensing with firms that go public: A resource-based view of academic entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing,20, 291–311.
Pries, F., & Guild, P. (2007). Commercial exploitation of new technologies arising from university research: Start-ups and markets for technology. R & D Management,37, 319–328.
Rasmussen, E. (2011). Understanding academic entrepreneurship: Exploring the emergence of university spin-off ventures using process theories. International Small Business Journal,29, 448–471.
Rasmussen, E., & Mathisen, M. T. (2017). Science-based entrepreneurial firms as real options: Assessing the outcomes of the Norwegian firm population from 1995 to 2012. In R. Fini & R. Grimaldi (Eds.), Process approach to academic entrepreneurship: Evidence from the globe. Singapore: World Scientific.
Rasmussen, E., Moen, O., & Gulbrandsen, M. (2006). Initiatives to promote commercialization of university knowledge. Technovation,26, 518–533.
Rasmussen, E., Mosey, S., & Wright, M. (2011). The evolution of entrepreneurial competencies: A longitudinal study of university spin-off venture emergence. Journal of Management Studies,48, 1314–1345.
Rasmussen, E., Mosey, S., & Wright, M. (2014). The influence of university departments on the evolution of entrepreneurial competencies in spin-off ventures. Research Policy,43, 92–106.
Rasmussen, E., Mosey, S., & Wright, M. (2015). The transformation of network ties to develop entrepreneurial competencies for university spin-offs. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development,27, 430–457.
Rothaermel, F. T., Agung, S. D., & Jiang, L. (2007). University entrepreneurship: A taxonomy of the literature. Industrial and Corporate Change,16, 691–791.
Rothaermel, F. T., & Thursby, M. (2005). Incubator firm failure or graduation? The role of university linkages. Research Policy,34, 1076–1090.
Salvador, E. (2011). Are science parks and incubators good “brand names’’ for spin-offs? The case study of Turin. Journal of Technology Transfer,36, 203–232.
Scholten, V., Omta, O., Kemp, R., & Elfring, T. (2015). Bridging ties and the role of research and start-up experience on the early growth of Dutch academic spin-offs. Technovation,45–46, 40–51.
Schwienbacher, A. (2010). Venture capital exits. In D. J. Cumming (Ed.), Venture capital: Investment strategies, structures and policies. Hoboken: Wiley.
Shah, S. K., & Pahnke, E. C. (2014). Parting the ivory curtain: Understanding how universities support a diverse set of startups. Journal of Technology Transfer,39, 780–792.
Shane, S. (2004). Academic entrepreneurship university spinoffs and wealth creation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Shane, S., & Stuart, T. (2002). Organizational endowments and the performance of university start-ups. Management Science,48, 154–170.
Soda, G., & Furlotti, M. (2017). Bringing tasks back in: An organizational theory of resource complementarity and partner selection. Journal of Management,43, 348–375.
Soetanto, D., & Jack, S. (2016). The impact of university-based incubation support on the innovation strategy of academic spin-offs. Technovation,50–51, 25–40.
Soetanto, D., & van Geenhuizen, M. (2015). Getting the right balance: University networks’ influence on spin-offs’ attraction of funding for innovation. Technovation,36–37, 26–38.
Spigel, B. (2017). The relational organization of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,41, 49–72.
Steffensen, M., Rogers, E. M., & Speakman, K. (2000). Spin-offs from research centers at a research university. Journal of Business Venturing,15, 93–111.
Stephan, A. (2014). Are public research spin-offs more innovative? Small Business Economics,43, 353–368.
Sternberg, R. (2014). Success factors of university-spin-offs: Regional government support programs versus regional environment. Technovation,34, 137–148.
Storey, D. J., & Tether, B. S. (1998). New technology-based firms in the European Union: An introduction. Research Policy,26, 933–946.
Styhre, A. (2014). Coping with the financiers: Attracting venture capital investors and end-users in the biomaterials industry. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management,26, 797–809.
Styles, C., & Genua, T. (2008). The rapid internationalization of high technology firms created through the commercialization of academic research. Journal of World Business,43, 146–157.
Taheri, M., & van Geenhuizen, M. (2011). How human capital and social networks may influence the patterns of international learning among academic spin-off firms*. Papers in Regional Science. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1435-5957.2011.00363.x.
Thursby, J. G., & Thursby, M. C. (2002). Who is selling the Ivory Tower? Sources of growth in university licensing. Management Science,48, 90–104.
Toole, A. A., & Czarnitzki, D. (2007). Biomedical academic entrepreneurship through the SBIR program. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,63, 716–738.
Toole, A. A., & Czarnitzki, D. (2009). Exploring the relationship between scientist human capital and firm performance: The case of biomedical academic entrepreneurs in the SBIR program. Management Science,55, 101–114.
Toole, A. A., & Czarnitzki, D. (2010). commercializing science: Is there a university “brain drain” from academic entrepreneurship? Management Science,56, 1599–1614.
Treibich, T., Konrad, K., & Truffer, B. (2013). A dynamic view on interactions between academic spin-offs and their parent organizations. Technovation,33, 450–462.
Van Burg, E., Gilsing, V. A., Reymen, I. M. M. J., & Romme, A. G. L. (2013). The formation of fairness perceptions in the cooperation between entrepreneurs and universities. Journal of Product Innovation Management,30, 677–694.
van Geenhuizen, M., & Soetanto, D. P. (2009). Academic spin-offs at different ages: A case study in search of key obstacles to growth. Technovation,29, 671–681.
Van Looy, B., Landoni, P., Callaert, J., van Pottelsberghe, B., Sapsalis, E., & Debackere, K. (2011). Entrepreneurial effectiveness of European universities: An empirical assessment of antecedents and trade-offs. Research Policy,40, 553–564.
Vanacker, T., Manigart, S., & Meuleman, M. (2014). Path-dependent evolution versus intentional management of investment ties in science-based entrepreneurial firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,38, 671–690.
Vanaelst, I., Clarysse, B., Wright, M., Lockett, A., Moray, N., & S’Jegers, R. (2006). Entrepreneurial team development in academic spinouts: An examination of team heterogeneity. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,30, 249–271.
Vincett, P. S. (2010). The economic impacts of academic spin-off companies, and their implications for public policy. Research Policy,39, 736–747.
Visintin, F., & Pittino, D. (2014). Founding team composition and early performance of university Based spin-off companies. Technovation,34, 31–43.
Vohora, A., Wright, M., & Lockett, A. (2004). Critical junctures in the development of university high-tech spinout companies. Research Policy,33, 147–175.
Walter, A., Auer, M., & Ritter, T. (2006). The impact of network capabilities and entrepreneurial orientation on university spin-off performance. Journal of Business Venturing,21, 541–567.
Walter, A., Parboteeah, K. P., Riesenhuber, F., & Hoegl, M. (2011). Championship behaviors and innovations success: An empirical investigation of university spin-offs. Journal of Product Innovation Management,28, 586–598.
Wennberg, K., Wiklund, J., & Wright, M. (2011). The effectiveness of university knowledge spillovers: Performance differences between university spinoffs and corporate spinoffs. Research Policy,40, 1128–1143.
Wiklund, J., & Shepherd, D. (2003). Knowledge-based resources, entrepreneurial orientation, and the performance of small and medium-sized businesses. Strategic Management Journal,24, 1307–1314.
Woolley, J. L. (2017). Origins and outcomes: The roles of spin-off founders and intellectual property in high-technology venture outcomes. Academy of Management Discoveries,3, 64–90.
Wright, M., Clarysse, B., & Mosey, S. (2012). Strategic entrepreneurship, resource orchestration and growing spin-offs from universities. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management,24, 911–927.
Wright, M., Lockett, A., Clarysse, B., & Binks, M. (2006). University spin-out companies and venture capital. Research Policy,35, 481–501.
Wright, M., Vohora, A., & Lockett, A. (2004). The formation of high-tech university spinouts: The role of joint ventures and venture capital investors. Journal of Technology Transfer,29, 287–310.
Yague-Perales, R. M., & March-Chorda, I. (2012). Performance analysis of research spin-offs in the Spanish biotechnology industry. Journal of Business Research,65, 1782–1789.
Zahra, S. A., Van de Velde, E., & Larrañeta, B. (2007). Knowledge conversion capability and the performance of corporate and university spin-offs. Industrial and Corporate Change,16, 569–608.
Zerbinati, S., Souitaris, V., & Moray, N. (2012). Nurture or nature? The growth paradox of research-based spin-offs. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management,24, 21–35.
Zhang, J. F. (2009). The performance of university spin-offs: An exploratory analysis using venture capital data. Journal of Technology Transfer,34, 255–285.
Zucker, L. G., Darby, M. R., & Brewer, M. B. (1998). Intellectual human capital and the birth of US biotechnology enterprises. American Economic Review,88, 290–306.
We are grateful for helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript from the editors and three anonymous referees. Also, we would like to thank Karl Wennberg, Claire Leitch, Øyvind Bjørgum, Øystein Widding and Roger Sørheim. The manuscript was prepared as part of the Ph.D. thesis of the first author. All responsibility for errors of thought or fact remains with the authors.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Mathisen, M.T., Rasmussen, E. The development, growth, and performance of university spin-offs: a critical review. J Technol Transf 44, 1891–1938 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-018-09714-9
- Academic entrepreneurship
- Academic spin-offs
- Firm growth
- Literature review
- Research-based spin-offs
- University entrepreneurship
- University spin-offs
- New venture growth
- Venture performance