Academic entrepreneurship revisited: university scientists and venture creation
Journal article, 2013
Purpose: Venture creation is often seen as the form of academic entrepreneurship least compatible with the role of university scientists. The purpose of the article is to explore the changing role of university scientists towards venture creation, and understand the influence of university-driven initiatives for venture creation.
Design/methodology approach: The article is based on a qualitative study of two venture creation cases: one from a US university, and one building from two universities in Sweden. The cases and associated university environments were selected due to their venture creation activity. University venture creation data of the three universities complements the cases.
Findings: Venture creation at universities can be more compatible with the traditional role of the university scientist. Centers and laboratories concerned with entrepreneurship and action-based education are identified as key university resources allowing university scientists to engage in venture creation in more compatible ways; not having to become the lead venture creator.
Research limitations/implications: The study underlying the article is limited to three university environments (in two countries) where venture creation activity is relatively frequent.
Originality/value: The article shows that venture creation can be more compatible the role of the university scientist due to more collective entrepreneurial activity at universities. Furthermore, university scientists, in synergizing between different entrepreneurial roles, are important for venture creation without taking the lead venture entrepreneur role. Involving students into venture creation together with scientists is proposed as one such important entrepreneurial role not previously recognized.