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Exploring the roles of researcher-based projects in Swedish university incubators

Conference paper
Authors Linus Brunnström
Guido Buenstorf
Maureen McKelvey
Published in Academy of Management. Annual Meeting Proceedings
ISSN 2151-6561
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)
Language en
Links https://journals.aom.org/loi/amproc
Keywords University incubator; knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial (KIE) firms & founders; survival analysis; competing risks; Sweden
Subject categories Economics and Business

Abstract

In recent years, university incubators have gone beyond directly supporting academic entrepreneurship by scientists to also support a variety of different activities related to academic engagement. One thing they do is to support a wide variety of projects, initiated by different types of potential founders. In this paper, we investigate which project and incubator characteristics explain the likelihood of different types of founders to turn their projects into knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial (KIE) firms. We address two gaps in the literature: how university incubators function and how the diverse backgrounds of different types of founders (researchers, students, other university employees, independent inventors and corporate spinoffs) may affect their likelihood of completing incubation and becoming a KIE firm. In line with previous research, we find that incubation projects initiated by researchers have a lower probability to complete incubation than the other types. More surprisingly, having research-initiated projects in an incubator seems to create spillover effects on all other projects, increasing their likelihood of survival. Moreover, the probability of projects successfully completing incubation increases if the university incubator has less breadth, as measured in admitting fewer types of project-founders, and if the incubator has more experience, as measured in age.

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