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Voodoo institution or entrepreneurial university? The role of spin-out companies in the entrepreneurial system

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2010
JournalRegional Studies
Number of pages22
Original languageEnglish


University spin-off companies occupy a prominent position in both government and university policies and aspirations for the commercialization of university research for economic benefit at regional and national levels. However, most university spin-off companies start small and remain small, reflecting founder aspirations, capabilities, and resource endowments. Based on detailed analysis of university spin-offs in Northern Ireland, it is concluded that these companies are technology lifestyle businesses not dynamic high-growth potential start-ups, and it is suggested that the prominence given to spin-offs in the analysis of technology transfer and in discussions of the economic impacts of universities is misplaced.