Title: University spin-offs, entrepreneurial environment and start-up policy: the cases of Waterloo and Toronto (Ontario) and Columbus (Ohio)

Authors: Harald Bathelt, Ben Spigel

Addresses: Department of Political Science and Department of Geography and Program in Planning, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3, Canada. ' Department of Political Science and Department of Geography and Program in Planning, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3, Canada

Abstract: Universities can be central to a region|s economic growth and development, especially if they support start-up, spin-off and modernisation processes related to the regional core sectors. While many governments and associations have developed programmes to encourage the establishment of university spin-offs, the policies they craft are hampered by two major problems. The first is a narrow understanding of spin-offs that focuses on firms directly based on university research. This approach misses firms that use university-related knowledge and resources, unsponsored through the university. Second, spin-off promotion policies often ignore the role of a larger regional entrepreneurial culture and supporting institutions. This paper argues that a broader view of spin-offs is required; a view that accounts for a larger array of ventures and that looks beyond the firm or university to the broader set of regional structures and relations. The empirical evidence presented draws from start-up and spin-off experiences at universities in the USA and Canada.

Keywords: university spin-offs; academic entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial environment; regional knowledge; technology transfer; start-up policy; Canada; USA; United States; start-ups; entrepreneurship; regional structures; knowledge-based development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKBD.2011.041248

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 2011 Vol.2 No.2, pp.202 - 219

Published online: 14 Jul 2011 *

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