Innovative start-ups, including spin-offs from universities and companies, play a vital role in the development and growth of emerging, high-technology industries. Research attention has traditionally focused on the links between demographic, educational, psychological and financial influences on start-up activity and growth. The extent to which the characteristics of technology inherited from the parent, important for spin-offs, helps explain post start-up performance has been neglected. We analyse the scope and newness of the endowed technology as a predictor of post-spin-off growth for corporate and university spin-offs. Using a novel, hand-collected dataset, 48 corporate and 73 university spin-offs were identified, comprising the whole population of such spin-offs in Flanders over the period 1991-2002. We find that corporate spin-offs seem to benefit from a narrow scope of technology and a high level of newness of technology, while university spin-offs benefit from a broad scope of technology and a lower level of newness of technology. We conclude that the same choice of technology endowments may have a different impact on the spin-offs’ growth, since spin-offs start with different knowledge inheritance.
technology endowment, corporate spin-offs, university spin-offs
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