Academic research plays an important role in the creation of new knowledge, in turn stimulating business activity and growth (Di Gregorio & Shane, 2003). Therefore academics’ participation in entrepreneurial processes is essential (Agrawal, 2006), however, researchers are only beginning to investigate the cognitive processes associated with why academics pursue differing entrepreneurial pathways (Jain et al. 2009).

Academic entrepreneurship has been described as “any activity that occurs beyond the traditional academic roles of teaching and/or research, is innovative, carries an element of risk, and leads to financial rewards for the individual academic or his/her institution” (Abreu & Grinevich, 2013, p. 408). As such, the perceived risk of undertaking entrepreneurial activities lies on a spectrum from potentially more risky activities (e.g. spin-off) to potentially less risky (e.g. professional development) activities. Thus, we ask the following research questions:

1) How do academics perceive risk within the spectrum of activities?

2) How do academics control perceived risks in the academic entrepreneurial process?