The determinants of internationalization for university spin-offs
Abstract The economic value of University Spin-Off (USO) firms have recently getting an increasing interest of scholars, governments and universities. The technological and innovative capabilities of these ventures ensure their potential to develop more wealth-creating business models than other companies. Although extensive internationalization seems attractive for USO’s, a significant amount of still fail to successfully internationalize as identifying foreign market opportunities and customers has proven to be challenging. In that regard, more insight is needed into what determines the internationalization of USO’s, to support in them in targeting international opportunities. The aim of this study is to investigate and analyze what determines the internationalization of USO’s. To this end, the research question is: what and how do factors determine the internationalization of USO’s? The research question is answered through a quantitative analysis which entails distributing an online survey to USO-entrepreneurs. The sample used for the quantitative analysis consisted of USO’s located in The Netherlands and Belgium. The respondents were requested to answer questions about factors relating to entrepreneurs, businesses and environments. The results indicate that the network of an entrepreneur is considered extremely important for the internationalization of USO’s. A qualitative analysis has been conducted to supplement the outcomes of the quantitative analysis. During this process, four experts in the field were interviewed to shed their light on the determinants of internationalization of USO’s. The outcomes of the qualitative analysis indicate that several of the factors such as experience and network of entrepreneurs and support mechanisms are critical for USO’s. A post-hoc test has also been executed in order to verify the outcomes of the quantitative analysis. Based on this research, universities are recommended to foster academic entrepreneurship through decision-making, investments and initiatives that improve the international competiveness of their spin-offs. Further research could be undertaken to analyze the entrepreneur-specific, business-specific and context-specific factors as discussed in this study as a consequence of ambiguous results in the quantitative analysis.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen