Generating inventions and/or founding businesses are important activities for the economic growth and structural change, particularly in knowledge-driven societies. Especially the research output of academic staff in institutions of higher education is a great source of innovation and commercially utilizable knowledge. Therefore these institutions make great efforts to establish and incorporate services and infrastructure to facilitate the commercial exploitation of inventions, e.g. by incentivizing academic entrepreneurship. Despite these actions, knowledge of great commercial potential still seems to remain unexploited (Wevand and Haase 2007).

Therefore, our study incorporates institutional and individual antecedents of entrepreneurial intentions and activities as well as their barriers and drivers from a longitudinal perspective. Taking a process-oriented perspective on venture creation, we look at the start-up process in a holistic manner incorporating stages of mere entrepreneurial intentions, up to entrepreneurial gestation activities (nascent entrepreneurship), business creation and finally early business development.