The Effects of Initial Network for University Spin-Off Companies: An Empirical Study of Board Composition and Performance
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University spin-off companies have verified their potential as a wealth creating strategy in commercializing intellectual property from universities. However, they are complex entities, suffering under shortage of essential resources. This study seeks out to investigate the benefits provided by the network of the board for university spin-off companies. Drawing on Board Capital theory, we explore the success rate in connection to the initial board composition, through a quantitative analysis of 70 norwegian university spin-off companies. Our findings suggest that boards with network from prior entrepreneurial or senior level management experience enhance the probability of success. Moreover, we propose a set of implications which may help academic entrepreneurs and university spin-off companies in acquiring the right combination of experience to their initial boards. The implications use a three-way perspective, with a focus on entrepreneurs and USOs, technology transfer offices and researchers.