Influence of Utrecht University spin-off support institutions on patent based academic spin-off performance
MetadataShow full item record
In the past decade, valorization through entrepreneurship has received increasing attention from both academics and university executives. These developments have led to substantial growth in university initiated entrepreneurial activities, like the start up of academic spin-offs. This study focuses on Utrecht University affiliated patent-based academic spin-offs and the supporting institutions of Utrecht University: UtrechtInc. Utrecht Valorization Center and Utrecht Holdings. Based on the resource based view, several capital types are identified that potentially influence venture performance. This thesis provide additional insights in the supporting activities of Utrecht University support institutions and the influence of a broad variety of resources on spin-off performance. A patent analysis is employed in order to identify academic spin-offs that (have) utilize(d) intellectual property generated at Utrecht University. From the 230 discovered UU related patents, 15 relevant academic spin-offs are identified. Four of these companies were willing to cooperate in this study. By means of structured interviews a cross-case analysis is performed. Pattern matching is employed in order to compare theoretical patterns (proposed hypotheses) with empirical patterns. From the four investigated academic spin-offs, only one company has received formal help from Utrecht Holdings and UtrechtInc. The results show that the external acquisition of management team experience is preferred over the internal availability of diverse experience. This indicates that high performance academic spin-offs acquire management team experience when their business environment raises this demand. Additionally, a inverted-U relationship between amount of patents applied for and venture performance is uncovered, which indicated that spin-offs should find a correct balance between R&D activities and business performance. Also, a mix of largely external private investor funding and a small proportion of governmental funding is employed by the high performance firms. Additionally growth of the amount of collaboration partners results in improved venture performance. The low performance of the company that received assistance from Utrecht University support institutions indicates that independently developed companies are more successful in acquiring essential resources to improve venture performance. Also, companies prefer to contact faculties or departments directly when looking for collaboration partners for research projects, instead of contacting the TTO or incubator. This raises the question whether Utrecht University affiliated TTO and incubator is supporting low potential technologies and spin-offs that aren’t able to acquire demanded resources independently.