In this paper we compare lead academic entrepreneurs commercializing knowledge originating from Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) to lead non--academic entrepreneurs commercializing knowledge from existing industry in the life--science sector. A major gap in the existing literature concerns the limited comparative research surrounding the characteristics and resource leverage behavior of academic and non-academic entrepreneurs. This study provides evidence on the human capital characteristics, resource accumulation behavior and the propensity to seek out entrepreneurial ownership team members to address the research question: “Why do lead academic and lead non--academic entrepreneurs form entrepreneurial ownership teams?” The contribution explores the differences and similarities of the lead entrepreneurs’ human capital resources and capabilities at the opportunity identification phase of the entrepreneurial process.