The fuel of USO growth ‘To what extent do the different antecedents influence the growth of a university spin-off?’

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The aim of this research is to identify the success factors of start-up firms, specifically university spin-offs. Success of a USO will be measured by its growth between 2008 and 2010. This research is based on literature on financial capital, the human capital theory, the social capital theory and location theory. In the model, two control variables are added to increase the accuracy of the study. In addition, two interaction effects are added. The first interaction effect is between start-up capital and human capital and the second is between social capital and location. All variables are expected to have a positive influence on growth. The model is tested by multiple regression analysis in SPSS. The results show that, contrary to expectations, only start-up capital has a significant effect on growth. Moreover, this is a quadratic relationship, indicating a ‘breaking point’ of the positive effect. This breaking point is estimated at a start-up capital of €25.000, indicating that the positive effect on growth turns into a negative effect at this amount. Another notable result is the significant effect of both control variables on the dependent variable. These effects are both in line with the expectations derived from theory.
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