Abstract

Academic spin-offs (ASOs) are particular new technology-based firms originating from public or university-based research institutions. One of their major challenges is to integrate scientific knowledge with the commercial knowledge in the entrepreneurial team (ET). The effect of ET composition on ASO performance has generally been examined through human capital theory or upper echelons theory. These traditional approaches have their merits and generally conclude to the necessity to add surrogate (external) entrepreneurs to the core team of academics. However, this would create a faultline, i.e. a divide between these two subgroups that negatively impacts team processes, and might explain why these artificially created ETs are not as successful as expected. We argue that a combination of these different lenses on ET composition and its relationship with performance may lead to a better understanding.

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