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Early stage technology investments of pre-seed venture capitalists
by Gunter Festel; Pablo Breitenmoser; Martin Würmseher; Jan Kratzer
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing (IJEV), Vol. 7, No. 4, 2015


Abstract: Although technology transfer offices at universities are widely installed, in many cases, inventions made in academia still struggle to be commercialised. This so-called technology transfer gap can be overcome by professionalised pre-founding activities. Whereas prevailing investment models, like business angels or traditional venture capitalists, usually tie up their business activity on already founded companies, pre-seed venture capitalists (PSVC) attempt to align inventions made at academia with entrepreneurship by founding start-ups. Against this background, this study aims at examining the perceptions of deficiencies of the prevailing investment models and the role of the PSVCs in the pre-founding phase. PSVC companies operating in the biotechnology and nanotechnology area and with a broader technology approach have been analysed within a multi case study research. The results show that based on the technological scope and the financial source of the investment activity, four different types of PSVC business models can be identified and described. Technology transfer offices at universities and research institutions supporting the founding process of start-ups can use the findings to develop and execute specific partnership strategies with these PSVC types.

Online publication date: Tue, 15-Dec-2015


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