The importance of surrogate entrepreneurship for incubated Swedish technology ventures
Journal article, 2014

Universities and incubators that are more experienced in venture creation have been found to appoint surrogate entrepreneurs as one way to improve entrepreneurial team formation. However, it is not known how such intervention into the core of a venture affects performance. This article investigates the impact of surrogate entrepreneurs on technology ventures stemming from leading Swedish university incubators. From a total of 170 ventures incorporated 1995-2005, belonging to 16 incubators, 59 ventures (35%) have received incubator help to recruit a surrogate entrepreneur. Swedish surrogate ventures perform significantly better in terms of growth and revenue compared to non-surrogates. Significantly higher performance of surrogates is also found in the subgroup academic technology ventures as well as the largest technology subgroup of information and communication technology (ICT) ventures. These findings in combination with a case study of the most productive incubation environment are used to propose future research and policy regarding university incubators intervening into entrepreneurial team formation in different ways.

Technology venture performance

University incubation

Surrogate entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial team-formation


Mats Lundqvist

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy


0166-4972 (ISSN)

Vol. 34 2 93-100

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Economics and Business



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