The Impact of Social Capital on Spin-Off Performance: A study in Europa and USA

The transfer of scientific knowledge to the market through the creation of science-based start-up companies (so called “spin-offs”) has raised great attention in the last years. This empirical study investigates how an academic entrepreneur’s social capital (resources received from actors within and outside the university network) and the surrounding ecosystem (cultural and institutional factors) influence the success of university spin-offs. It the exploratory stage of the project interviews and observational research at Stanford’s Accelerator Program StartX were conducted. Based on those findings a web-based survey among over 400 spin-off companies in selected regions of the USA (Boston, New York and Silicon Valley) and Europe (Vienna, Berlin and Stockholm) was conducted. The findings are expected to be central for our understanding of supporting factors of academic entrepreneurship and will provide guidelines for the design of new startup support initiatives at universities and beyond.

Key Words: Academic entrepreneurship, university spin-off performance, entrepreneurship ecosystems, social capital, quantitative analysis

Start: 2013

Duration: 2.5 years

Funded by: Austrian National Bank (Anniversary Fund)

Project partner: Vienna University of Technology, Stanford University

Contact: Karl-Heinz LeitnerGeorg Fürlinger

See also: http://austrianstartupmonitor.at/