This paper investigates informal mechanisms of knowledge transfer (KT) from a local university to entrepreneurial teams comprising students and recent graduates. While the extant literature on university-industry KT largely focuses on formal mechanisms aimed at stimulating entrepreneurial initiatives in high-tech (HT) sectors, it overlooks the effect of university-industry KT on nascent entrepreneurship in low-medium tech (LMT) sectors. To fill this gap in the literature, we carry out a mixed-method analysis that exploits a dataset of 154 new business ideas (and 535 team members) presented at a business plan competition in Rimini from 2010 to 2017. Our findings highlight a robust relationship between educational field and the R&D intensity of entrepreneurial projects: students take advantage of the knowledge acquired at university to develop entrepreneurial projects with higher technological content than those planned by non-graduates. Furthermore, the empirical evidence shows that the local university nurtures the formation of ties among students and recent graduates enrolled in the same courses and fosters their efforts to launch new ventures. Finally, the qualitative analysis identifies relevant and non-traditional mechanisms of KT that are being exploited by nascent entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas in the LMT and HT sectors.

How do universities shape founding teams? Social proximity and informal mechanisms of knowledge transfer in student entrepreneurship

Francesco Maria Barbini;Marco Corsino;Paola Giuri
2021

Abstract

This paper investigates informal mechanisms of knowledge transfer (KT) from a local university to entrepreneurial teams comprising students and recent graduates. While the extant literature on university-industry KT largely focuses on formal mechanisms aimed at stimulating entrepreneurial initiatives in high-tech (HT) sectors, it overlooks the effect of university-industry KT on nascent entrepreneurship in low-medium tech (LMT) sectors. To fill this gap in the literature, we carry out a mixed-method analysis that exploits a dataset of 154 new business ideas (and 535 team members) presented at a business plan competition in Rimini from 2010 to 2017. Our findings highlight a robust relationship between educational field and the R&D intensity of entrepreneurial projects: students take advantage of the knowledge acquired at university to develop entrepreneurial projects with higher technological content than those planned by non-graduates. Furthermore, the empirical evidence shows that the local university nurtures the formation of ties among students and recent graduates enrolled in the same courses and fosters their efforts to launch new ventures. Finally, the qualitative analysis identifies relevant and non-traditional mechanisms of KT that are being exploited by nascent entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas in the LMT and HT sectors.
THE JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Francesco Maria Barbini, Marco Corsino, Paola Giuri
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/773384
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