Abstract

Start-ups are often lacking specific equipment to carry out tests to validate research results. They do not have the financial resources to rent or lease advanced research and laboratory facilities and investors are reluctant to provide the means to invest in such equipment, especially, when large risks are involved and little collateral is available. Traditionally, seed capital funds, venture capital and business angels are considered important sources of financing innovative start-up firms. However, these funds are not always able to solve the financial constraints of innovative start-ups and they also come with significant changes in the governance and ownership of the new venture. Recent literature draws attention to developments such as makerspaces and facility sharing to provide entrepreneurs access to specific equipment and overcome their limitations. The maker movement and facility sharing are recent developments that have emerged and bring entrepreneurs the opportunity to increase access to tools and allow governments and universities to support innovation speed. We focus on the characteristics of these arrangements, the reasons they can exist, the conditions when it is more attractive for both governments, universities and start-ups to be involved and make use of these arrangements. Furthermore, we investigate the role of governments and universities to initiate and support these arrangements.

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