• No se han encontrado resultados

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Monterrey


Academic year: 2022

Share "Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Monterrey"


Texto completo


Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Campus Monterrey

School of Engineering and Sciences

A Framework to Foster Innovation-Driven Enterprises Creation in the University: The Case of the Monterrey Region in Mexico.

A thesis presented by

Alejandro Téllez Girón Barrera

Submitted to the

School of Engineering and Sciences

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science


Manufacturing Systems

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, December 1st, 2021


iv Dedication

First and foremost, to my mother and father, thank you for your support and love throughout my life. Thank you for your trust, for letting me always make my own decisions about what I like to do.

Likewise, I would like to share the following. Before starting my graduate studies, I was convinced that we have the moral responsibility to give back something positive to our society. Through this research, I intend to leave a baseline on a topic not being analyzed in- depth in emerging countries. Mexico needs its people to care about improving the standard of living and contribute to facing the different challenges we have. Therefore, I trust that I will contribute little or much to building a better community through innovation, entrepreneurship, and human sense through this research.




I am sincerely grateful to Tecnologico de Monterrey for their financial support during my studies at the institution. Likewise, for offering such research programs and believing in new generations to build a better society. In addition, I thank the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) for their financial support during my graduate studies.

I am also grateful to the experts who shared their time and valuable feedback to conduct this research.

Lastly, I would like to thank my thesis committee and co-advisor for their comments and assistance in making this thesis possible. Individually, I want to express my gratitude to my advisor, Dr. David Güemes, for his time and guidance, as well as all those talks during these two years. Thank you for teaching me during my initial stages on this road to research.



A Framework to Foster Innovation-Driven Enterprises Creation in the University: The Case of the Monterrey Region in Mexico.


Alejandro Téllez Girón Barrera


Emerging countries face a series of challenges on their agenda, one of them being the socio- economic development of their region. One well-known way to create a competitive economy is by introducing innovative technologies, products, or services. Entrepreneurship can be classified into small and medium enterprises and innovation-driven enterprises (IDE).

Both types of entrepreneurship are required for an economy; however, the second leads to high-quality job creation and economic prosperity. Three main actors can boost IDE's creation by looking at the triple helix model: industry, government, and the university. In this research, the university plays the leading role in promoting the creation of these companies due to a transformation towards the entrepreneurial university where teaching and research are not the sole objectives. Conceiving a new company by transferring technology from an academic institution is known as a university spin-off. Notwithstanding, this practice has not been studied in emerging countries. Therefore, this research focuses on shedding some light on how the entrepreneurial university can foster the creation of these companies.

The steps in this process were (i) identifying the significant elements for the creation of university spin-offs with a literature review and a validation of the elements with the Fuzzy Delphi method, (ii) modeling the current process of spin-off creation in two universities in the Monterrey region using the Total Interpretive Structural Modeling tool, (iii) and identifying the current and potentials drivers of the system employing the MICMAC method.

Consequently, a framework was obtained outlining seven key points to support university decision-makers in fostering the creation of these companies.

The results show ten significant elements for creating university spin-offs. Subsequently, the following recommendations were obtained by analyzing how these elements interacted in two universities in the Monterrey region and identifying their current and future influence on the system. The findings show that focusing on adding the innovation dimension to the entrepreneurial vision of the university and creating specific policies regarding innovation- driven enterprises were the initial aspects that decision-makers should consider.

Subsequently, planning a process for accessing profit-seeking capital and engaging the university's applied research capacity was critical. Next, improve the support mechanisms for spin-offs without overlooking the fact that they depend on the previous elements, followed by working to close the gap in the culture regarding the commercialization of technology. Lastly, do not ignore the strategic management, and that regional context can be a support during this process.


vii List of figures

Figure 1 QS World Ranking - Tecnologico de Monterrey ... 4

Figure 2 USOs established by Tecnologico de Monterrey ... 5

Figure 3 QS World Ranking Comparison... 5

Figure 4 University A- ISM ... 42

Figure 5 University A- TISM ... 43

Figure 6 University B- ISM ... 47

Figure 7 University B- TISM ... 48

Figure 8 Indirect influence/dependence map – University A ... 51

Figure 9 Potential indirect influence/dependence map – University A ... 52

Figure 10 Indirect Influence/Dependence Map - University B ... 54

Figure 11 Potential Indirect Influence/Dependence Map - University B ... 55

Figure 12 A framework to foster university spin-offs. ... 59


viii List of tables

Table 1 University Spin-off Challenges ... 13

Table 2 Support Mechanisms ... 15

Table 3 Support Mechanisms overview ... 18

Table 4 Financial Resources ... 18

Table 5 Financial Resources overview ... 20

Table 6 University Policies ... 20

Table 7 University Policies overview ... 22

Table 8 University’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture ... 22

Table 9 University’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture overview ... 24

Table 10 University Environment ... 24

Table 11 University Environment overview ... 25

Table 12 Entrepreneurial scientist skills ... 26

Table 13 Entrepreneurial scientist competencies overview ... 27

Table 14 Elements identified for creating University Spin-offs ... 28

Table 15 Linguistic Scales ... 30

Table 16 Expert´s Profile ... 36

Table 17 Experts Responses ... 37

Table 18 Variables, identified by the literature review, ID ... 38

Table 19 Fuzzy Delphi Method - Accepted Elements ... 38

Table 20 Significant Elements for Spin-off Creation ... 39

Table 21 University A- Knowledge Base Matrix ... 40

Table 22 University A- Final Reachability Matrix ... 41

Table 23 University B- Knowledge Base Matrix ... 45

Table 24 University B- Final Reachability Matrix ... 45

Table 25 MICMAC Input Data - University A ... 50

Table 26 Labels for MICMAC Plots – University A ... 50

Table 27 MICMAC Input Data - University B ... 53

Table 28 Labels for MICMAC Plots - University B ... 53

Table 29 Comparison of University A and B, on the current elements´ influence ... 56

Table 30 Comparison of University A and B, on the potential strategic decisions ... 57


ix Table of contents

Abstract ... vi

List of figures ... vii

List of tables ... viii

Table of contents ... ix

Chapter 1. Introduction ... 1

1.1 Motivation ... 1

1.2 Introduction ... 2

1.3 Problem Statement and Context ... 3

1.4 Research Question ... 6

1.5 Objectives... 7

1.5.1 General objective ... 7

1.5.2 Specific objectives ... 7

1.6 Main Contribution ... 8

1.7 Scope ... 8

1.8 Thesis Organization ... 9

Chapter 2. Literature Review ... 10

2.1 Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Knowledge ... 10

2.2 Entrepreneurial University ... 10

2.3 University Spin-off’s ... 11

2.3.1 University Spin-offs Definition ... 11

2.3.2 University Spin-offs Challenges ... 12

2.4 Significant Elements Required for Spin-Off’s Creation ... 14

2.4.1 Support Mechanisms for the Spin-off ... 14

2.4.2 Financial Resources ... 18

2.4.3 University Policies ... 20

2.4.4 University’s Entrepreneurial, Innovative, and Research Culture ... 22

2.4.5 University Environment ... 24

2.4.6 Entrepreneurial Scientist Competencies ... 25

Chapter 3. Methodology ... 29

3.1 General description ... 29

3.2 Literature Review and Expert Group Validation of Significant Elements ... 29



3.3 Total Interpretive Structural Modeling ... 31

3.4 MICMAC methodology ... 33

Chapter 4. Results and Discussion ... 35

4.1 General description ... 35

4.2 Literature Review and Expert Group Validation of Significant Elements ... 35

4.3 Total Interpretive Structural Modeling ... 38

4.3.1 University A ... 40

4.3.2 University B ... 45

4.4 MICMAC Method ... 49

4.4.1 University A ... 50

4.4.2 University B ... 53

Chapter 5. Conclusions and Future Work ... 58

5.1 Conclusions ... 58

5.2 Future Work ... 62

Appendix ... 64

University A ... 64

Level Partitioning ... 64

University B ... 65

Level Partitioning ... 65

Bibliography ... 67

Published Papers ... 75

Curriculum Vitae ... 75



Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Motivation

Emerging countries face several challenges. Consequently, we are responsible for improving our environment through the different disciplines we have chosen to perform. As a student, I have always been passionate about learning. Moreover, I consider that knowledge combined with other soft skills is the key to transforming and improving our society.

By conducting this research, I realized the crucial role that the university has in contributing to the development of its environment, from teaching and research activities up to the impact that its graduates can have outside the university. Nevertheless, I found fascinating the new role universities can play; the entrepreneurial university and its impact in contributing to socio-economic development from another perspective. This does not imply renouncing the significant role but adding a component to the current vision.

The work done by researchers and students in research programs deserves a facilitating process to bring their ideas and developments to fulfill their goal, which is to contribute to the development of society. Achieving this impact can be done through a channel that can be sustainable along the time, a company.

On this basis, this thesis seeks to support decision-makers of those universities that consider adding this new role to their vision. Mainly by giving greater clarity on the elements to consider in promoting the creation of innovation-driven enterprises. Furthermore, by identifying and presenting an approach to face this challenge, actions can significantly impact and modify the system's dynamics.

As this topic has not been studied in depth in emerging countries, there is still considerable room to address it differently. Therefore, those universities in emerging countries, in this case in a Latin American context, who decide to start on this path will be pioneers, helping to explore this technology transfer channel. Hence, other universities will join this effort to support their environment's socio-economic development in the future directly.



1.2 Introduction

In a world of global competitiveness, emerging countries face several challenges in seeking solutions for improving the standard of living of their communities. Moreover, the Covid-19 situation represents a watershed for these countries' future. The strategic decisions taken will have consequences, such as advancing on this path to become a developed country or, unfortunately, taking a step backward. Before this situation, emerging economies started to focus on startups and young firms as potential engines of economic growth and structural transformation (Kantis et al., 2020). With new challenges ahead and the previous ones, backing in science and technology seems to be a reliable option, but the question arises: how to achieve it?

Innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge created by science and technology studies are considered critical for economic growth (Piñeiro-Chousa et al., 2020). In this process, different stakeholders can be found; three main ones appear when recalling the triple helix model, industry, government, and university (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 1995).

Alternatively, five are involved when referring to the Penta Helix innovation model, in which civil society and social entrepreneurs are incorporated, highlighting that the university remains part of this model (S Halibas et al., 2017). Therefore, universities play a significant role in current societies, where teaching and research are not the sole objectives.

Additionally, universities started to become more open towards societies, performing different activities such as knowledge dissemination, technological innovation, social innovation, advisory services, or entrepreneurship (Forliano et al., 2021). Thus, a possible solution for these developing countries appears, the entrepreneurial university.

This research focuses on shading some light to the development of university spin-offs where innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge created by science and technology studies drive the company’s creation. The literature shows that these studies have not been carried out in- depth in developing countries (Kantis et al., 2020). In a world of global competitiveness where innovation is a path to socio-economic development, the topic is of vital relevance as an opportunity to redefine a country’s course. This research takes the two leading universities of the region as the case of study. First, the Tecnologico de Monterrey, specifically in its



Monterrey Campus, where detonating entrepreneurship and innovation seems to have the most significant advantage in the country. Additionally, the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), the region's largest university and third-largest public university of Mexico, is an institution that shows leadership and capabilities to be a key partner in triggering innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge generation across the region.

1.3 Problem Statement and Context

Developing countries face several challenges, one of which is the social-economic development of their communities. A well-known approach to building a competitive economy is by entrepreneurs introducing innovative technologies, products, and services (Kritikos, 2014). Entrepreneurship can be classified into (a) Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Entrepreneurship and (b) Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDE) Entrepreneurship (Aulet, 2013). The first type focuses on addressing local and regional markets against the second, focusing on global markets. SME Entrepreneurship does not require innovation to grow nor a competitive advantage as a core.

In comparison, IDE Entrepreneurship requires innovation (technology, business, process, model) and potential competitive advantage. As Murray and Aulet (2013) define, there is no more desirable entrepreneurship than the other; small and medium enterprises are required.

However, creating IDE’s leads to high-quality job creation and economic prosperity.

Different stakeholders support these companies’ creation; three appear when recalling the triple helix model constituted by academic-industry-government relations (Etzkowitz &

Leydesdorff, 1995).

Because of the relationship between technological innovation and knowledge, academia started a transformation pattern 20 years ago to an entrepreneurial university (Etzkowitz et al., 2000). Currently, universities play a significant role in society, where teaching and research are not the sole objectives. Additionally, universities started to become more open towards societies, performing different activities such as knowledge dissemination, technological innovation, social innovation, advisory services, or entrepreneurship (Forliano



et al., 2021). It is precisely by linking entrepreneurship with technological innovation that the creation of spin-offs in the university arises.

One approach is creating spin-offs in the entrepreneurial university because of the need to find solutions for developing countries’ socio-economic growth. These companies are a relevant vehicle for creating high-quality employment and accelerating the productivity of regional economies. Subsequently, having a well-structured university ecosystem will create a more successful business ecosystem (Fuster et al., 2019). The literature points that innovation-driven entrepreneurship research has not been studied in depth in emerging countries (Si et al., 2020). Among these countries stands Mexico, where one university in Monterrey city leads to a society of entrepreneurship and innovation, the Tecnologico de Monterrey. This university has made significant progress in the quality of education that it offers to its community, climbing from position 306 to 161 worldwide in the last ten years according to the QS World Ranking, as shown in Figure 1.

One of the guiders of Tecnologico de Monterrey is to encourage entrepreneurial leaders with a human sense. When analyzing entrepreneurship results, a positive response is observed in undergraduate studies. Tecnologico de Monterrey obtained a fifth place in 2021 in the USA’s top 50 entrepreneurship undergraduate schools, the only foreign school participating (CONECTA, 2020). However, this ranking does not measure the number of companies created still reflects the entrepreneurial perspective of the university. Furthermore, when reviewing the number of technology-based companies created by its students, graduates, professors, and executives, the result is the Mexican academic institution with most patents filed and spin-offs created in the recent history of their country (Cantu-Ortiz et al., 2017).

Thirty-two spin-offs have been created from 2010 to 2020, as shown in Figure 2 (Tecnologico

306 292.5 279 253 238 206 199 178 158 155 161

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

QS World Ranking - Tecnologico de Monterrey

Figure 1 QS World Ranking - Tecnologico de Monterrey



de Monterrey, 2021). However, what do these numbers mean? A comparison was made with the top three universities in a leading country in creating technology-based companies: Israel.

Israel's number one ranked university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, through its technology transfer office Yissum, has created more than 170 spin-offs, including successful initial public offerings (IPOs) such as SavorEat and BioCancell (Yissum, 2021). Secondly, Tel Aviv University has created more than 130 spin-offs since 1999, with success stories of companies valued at one billion dollars, i.e., unicorn companies, such as AlphaTau Medical LTD and StoreDot Ltd (RAMOT, 2021). Finally, Technion University has created more than 170 spin-offs, also having success stories with IPOs such as NovoCure and Eloxx Pharmaceuticals (Technion Technology Transfer, 2021). In terms of business creation, these are impressive numbers, but what is more remarkable is the quality of its companies, which can be seen in the financial success of the cases shown. Nevertheless, as shown in Figure 3,


1 0

7 5 3


2010-2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total

University Spin-offs established by Tecnologico de Monterrey




255 140




2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022

QS World Ranking Comparison

Tec de Monterrey

Tel Aviv University

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Figure 3 QS World Ranking Comparison Figure 2 USOs established by Tecnologico de Monterrey



in 2012, these universities were above Tecnologico de Monterrey in overall university quality, but now, they are not (QS Quacquarelli Symonds, 2021).

Notwithstanding, it can be seen how the Mexican university has improved considerably.

These numbers prompt the reflection that it is a matter of what each university concentrates on its strategic guidelines. So, it is of critical interest to study the path to follow to foster the creation of spin-offs in the Tecnologico de Monterrey. Moreover, what is happening in the Tecnologico de Monterrey can be extended to the region, where it is not common to have successful cases of technology transfer through spin-offs.

With the above mentioned, the specific problem can be expressed as follows; the creation of spin-offs has not reached its potential at Monterrey universities. Despite efforts, this transfer channel has not yet been exploited. Knowledge can be transformed into technological innovation companies that socio-economically boost the region. Therefore, it is essential to find a way to promote the creation of these companies.

1.4 Research Question

As mentioned above, Tecnologico de Monterrey stands out for its entrepreneurial and innovative activity. Therefore, conducting this research in a developing country is appropriate, as it meets an entrepreneurial university’s definition. Tecnologico de Monterrey seeks to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem where current and future talent can develop and coexist in an environment of opportunities and experiences called Distrito Tec. As literature exhibits, it is essential to design the environment to promote innovation and entrepreneurship; thus, this ecosystem may perform an essential role in generating socio- economic change (Dalmarco et al., 2018). However, when analyzing internal elements, it is possible to find interrogatories with sketchy solutions.

Initiatives such as this provide answers to questions: Where can talent create and develop great ideas? What environment is required for a better standard of living? How to create a model of coexistence based on co-responsibility? (Distrito Tec, 2021). Furthermore, there is



a challenge behind all this after analyzing the statistics shown in the problem statement. Thus, the question that this research seeks to answer is the following:

• How can entrepreneurial universities in emerging countries foster spin-off creation in their communities?

To address this question; the following two research sub-questions have been posed:

• What are the significant elements to spin-off creation at entrepreneurial universities in emerging countries?

• How can innovation-driven enterprises be created at entrepreneurial universities in developing countries?

1.5 Objectives

1.5.1 General objective

To construct a framework that supports entrepreneurial universities in emerging countries to foster innovation-driven enterprises’ creation by university spin-offs.

1.5.2 Specific objectives

• To identify the significant elements for the creation of spin-offs in the entrepreneurial university.

• To create a model that shows how the identified elements currently interact in the chosen universities.

• To identify the current and potential drivers of the system.

• To detect key points to support decision-makers to foster the creation of university spin-offs.



1.6 Main Contribution

In general, research on entrepreneurship’s synergy with innovation and knowledge generation is focused on developed countries where this practice happens. It is therefore essential to extend this type of study to emerging countries. These countries represent around half of the world’s population and the global gross product (Kantis et al., 2020). Using Monterrey Region as a case study, the aim was to contribute to this community’s strategy.

Nevertheless, those entrepreneurial universities in developing countries will have a broader view. Consequently, they can adapt it for their region’s benefit.

Thus, this work’s main contribution is expressed as follows; in a context where the focus is on driving socio-economic growth through entrepreneurship and innovation, this research aims to support decision-makers in entrepreneurial universities to foster the creation of technology-based companies. Specifically, by delving into the following:

• Identifying what elements are required by the university for the creation of spin-offs.

• Studying the interaction between these elements in the most impactful universities of the region for understanding the effect these elements have on the spin-off creation process.

• Identifying the current and potential drivers of the system.

• Defining key points that decision-makers at the university can take as a basis for fostering the creation of university spin-offs.

1.7 Scope

The research considers the university as the central actor. However, government and industry have an essential role; future studies should address the problem from their perspective.

Additionally, although this work aims to support other universities in Mexico and other emerging countries for innovation-driven enterprises development, it is essential to recognize that each context is different and should be considered when taking this research as a reference.



1.8 Thesis Organization

The thesis is structured in the following manner:

• Chapter 1: Introduction to the research context and challenges, including the objectives, main contribution, and scope.

• Chapter 2: Literature review explaining the main concepts required to understand the research and the state of the art of the significant elements for creating spin-offs in the entrepreneurial university.

• Chapter 3: Explain the research methodology employed for elements validation, model construction, and definition of present and potential drivers.

• Chapter 4: Results and discussion. A detailed explanation of how each research question was clarified.

• Chapter 5: Conclusions and future work. Based on the research results, comments and recommendations of future work and future research are made.



Chapter 2. Literature Review

2.1 Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Knowledge

It is essential to clarify what is meant by entrepreneurship, innovation, and knowledge, individually and in their synergy. The term entrepreneurship implies creating a new business where that not exist before, and innovation could be explained with the following quote:

Innovation= Invention* Commercialization (Aulet, 2013)—emphasizing the importance of being perceived as something new by the unit of adoption (Zaltman & Lin, 1971). This definition is consistent with the new Oslo Manual definition; innovation is a new or improved product, process, or combination that differs significantly from previous products or processes and has been made available to potential users (product) or applied (process) (WIPO, 2021). On the other hand, knowledge for this research means the output of research conducted by the university. Therefore, all this knowledge could be translated to a new element which is: technology. Technology is defined as the practical implementation of knowledge to support human endeavors (Khalil, 2000). In this way, the elements were defined individually to explain their interaction then.

Scientific and technological knowledge have been identified as the primary sources of innovative entrepreneurship. Additionally, the Triple Helix model supports the assumption that academic knowledge can be transformed into innovation and entrepreneurship (Piñeiro- Chousa et al., 2020). University scientists are the innovation suppliers because they discover new knowledge across their research projects (Link et al., 2015). Therefore, in this thesis, the synergy between the three elements is the following: knowledge, specifically technology, produced by university research can be transformed into innovation-driven enterprises via university spin-offs.

2.2 Entrepreneurial University

Universities have a role in fostering research and disseminating knowledge to the academic community, forming qualified graduates to perform tasks demanded by the industry.



Nevertheless, a third role emerged due to the need to transfer and commercialize the knowledge produced by the university (O’Shea et al., 2005). This mission appeared to become more decisive decades ago with the definition of a new function for universities.

Colleges became a new economic actor incorporating the social and economic development of the community into their mission, where the capitalization of knowledge is a core purpose (Etzkowitz, 1998). Therefore, it is imperative to examine how universities in emerging countries can be relevant for economic and social recovery.

The entrepreneurial university can be broadly defined as viewing research and teaching activities from a different perspective, contributing to economic and social development while educating students and generating knowledge. At the same time, this university requires an entrepreneurial approach and the ability to take this initiative to all institution levels (Etzkowitz et al., 2021). Entrepreneurial universities work with stakeholders such as governments and industry to drive the generation and exploitation of knowledge and technology (Guerrero & Urbano, 2012). This research focuses on commercializing this research by creating spin-offs, as shown in the following section.

2.3 University Spin-off’s

2.3.1 University Spin-offs Definition

The following section shows an approach in which research with innovation and entrepreneurship in the entrepreneurial university can be brought to the market. Universities can be seen as developers of technology through their research activities. The outcome can be brought to the market as follows: (1) joint research, selling, or licensing to established companies, (2) through the creation of spin-offs having a new technology startup, and (3) when the university is the same one that develops and brings the technology to the market, being this a less common channel (Kirchberger & Pohl, 2016). The creation of spin-offs is the technology transfer mechanism aligned with the research objective.

Technology-based enterprises have become a central issue for economic growth and development. The spin-off is considered an enterprise that has received increased attention



to create wealth and advance scientific knowledge (Fini et al., 2011). In business, spin-off refers to the process and result of creating a company from an existing one. In the academic field, the term spin-off is used when the company is established in an academic institution, implementing the results of research and development (Miranda et al., 2018). Therefore, the following definition is introduced for the academic spin-off: the transfer of core technology from an academic institution to the creation of a new company, where the founding members may include the academic inventor who may or may not be currently affiliated with the academic institution (O’Shea et al., 2008).

The importance of academic spin-offs brings the responsibility to investigate how universities can facilitate their creation (Rasmussen & Borch, 2010). The following section explains the proposed classification of the significant elements for creating university spin- offs in detail.

2.3.2 University Spin-offs Challenges

This section aims to define the most common challenges that university spin-offs face. If these challenges are not resolved, they can lead to the failure of the created companies, discouraging the creation of future companies. Therefore, the objective is that by defining and structuring the below elements, these challenges can be addressed, and better results can be obtained.

In practice, it may be thought that the entrepreneurial scientist does not have the same capabilities as the one who launches a non-academic startup. Consequently, investment in an academic company may represent a higher risk for the investors. However, keeping these judgments or ideas well-founded or not will be of limited use. The following challenges are an opportunity to address them and create greater confidence in investing in the academic spin-off.

- Technological Market Matching: Academic spin-offs are characterized by highly innovative technology. However, the major challenge is that such technology can be converted into market applications (Mathisen & Rasmussen, 2019). Highly reliable



technology from the research and development stages has already identified the market need it will address, will have a high potential for success (Choi & Lee, 2000).

- Long Return on Investment and Exit to Market: Academic startups take longer to exit to market, which implies a longer time to return on investment and higher costs than startups that were not created at the university (Roche et al., 2020).

As mentioned in the capabilities of the scientific entrepreneur, an essential element for the firm to be successful is the people involved. Therefore, when the firm has been created, the scientist’s capacity is not the only point to consider but also the current team’s capacity and networking. The following challenges have been identified:

- Human Capital: The composition of the founding team is a crucial element for the development and growth of the spin-off; by creating the right combination in the team between academic and non-academic, as well as internal and external members, the economic success of the spin-off can be achieved (Sciarelli et al., 2020). Additionally, inventor involvement is critical for spin-off success. The scientist’s expertise is necessary for the spin-off to survive in the long term. The original research team must be connected to the spin-off to efficiently transfer tacit knowledge and facilitate the development and market introduction process (Mathisen & Rasmussen, 2019).

- Network capability and alliances: Network capability refers to a company’s ability to develop and use its relationships to obtain resources from other stakeholders (Walter et al., 2006). The network has a significant role in the growth of the company. When the network of the founding team is poorly developed, it usually obtains investors from a close circle who also do not have the necessary experience. This reinforces the negative growth loop for the spin-off (Mathisen & Rasmussen, 2019). Table 1 enlists the mentioned challenges.

Table 1 University Spin-off Challenges

Main Element Key Challenges

University spin-off

Technological Market Matching Long Return on Investment

Long Exit to Market Human Capital

Network Capability and Alliances



2.4 Significant Elements Required for Spin-Off’s Creation

The present work focuses on the development of technology-driven enterprises at the university. As specified previously, three sub-questions were introduced to clarify the principal research question. In this section, the following question will be solved:

What are the significant elements to spin-off creation at entrepreneurial universities in emerging countries?

A literature review was conducted to address this question. Research on this topic has been growing. In recent years entrepreneurship combined with knowledge and innovation has been presented as the most critical type of entrepreneurship in the modern knowledge economy (Piñeiro-Chousa et al., 2020). In performing this analysis, the significant elements were grouped into blocks by affinity. Thus, the following configuration of significant elements for creating spin-offs in the entrepreneurial university is presented.

The structure is composed of six large blocks which contain elements and components.

Therefore, the following configuration labels the large blocks:

i. Support Mechanisms.

ii. Financial Resources.

iii. University Policies.

iv. University’s Entrepreneurial, Innovative, and Research Culture.

v. University Environment.

vi. Entrepreneurial Scientist Competencies.

2.4.1 Support Mechanisms for the Spin-off

Once the university’s applied research has begun and found an initial solution that presents a certain degree of feasibility to solve a relevant problem in society, the scientist or research team will need support to take this research to solve a market need. Therefore, it is essential to consider that to streamline bringing the research to the market; support mechanisms should be in the initial stages, finding a balance between a too-early stage and a middle-advanced



Table 2 Support Mechanisms

stage. Thus, the support mechanisms element is defined as “the support the university provides for the company’s technology transfer strategy, creation, and development.”

As mentioned above, the six main blocks have elements to better structure the main block.

Therefore, the following elements are proposed: support mechanism in the technology transfer strategy and support mechanism in creating and developing the spin-off. Table 2 shows the structure so far. Technology Transfer Strategy

When the team intends to commercialize, it will need a technology transfer strategy, which the university will offer to its researchers. Technology Transfer Strategy is defined as how the technology’s selection mechanism and transfer mode impact commercialization (Kirchberger & Pohl, 2016). This strategy needs an entity that oversees the company bringing its technology to the market (spin-off creation), licensing, or patenting. For this, a support mechanism is created, which is found in literature in the following forms:

- Technology Transfer Office (TTO): The Technology Transfer Office is standard when pronouncing university research commercialization. This mechanism has facilitated technology transfer from a directly affiliated research institution to the market by acting as a bridge between two environments (Good et al., 2019). Some typical outcomes could be licensing and patent generation. However, when the project can develop a business around the research, it must also be integrated into the innovation strategy to foster startups (Etzkowitz, 2017). The importance of the TTO is critical and requires a great deal of technology-transfer capacity and expertise (Jung

& Kim, 2018). It is not about creating the largest TTO but focusing on its quality.

Main Block Elements

Support Mechanisms Technology Transfer Strategy

Creation and Development of the Spin-off



- Technology Licensing Office (TLO): The TLO performs a critical role in intellectual property, specifically in claiming and protecting the invention and at the same time in technology-market matching; all of this is performed with the scientist- entrepreneurs and lab members (Thomas et al., 2020).

- Technology Holding Company (THC): Some universities have adopted this model.

It is an institution specializing in establishing and commercializing subsidiaries by receiving technology from universities and creating profits by securing subsidiaries’

shares. This entity is external to the university, and, unlike TTOs, its objective is to generate profit via dividend income or disposal income through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or initial public offerings (IPO) (Son et al., 2020). Creation and Development of the Spin-off

The second element of the support mechanisms focuses on accompanying the company once it has already defined that it will create a spin-off as a commercialization strategy. Thus, these mechanisms support the company at an early stage of creation and later in its development.

After analyzing the literature, the following mechanisms were found and are described as follows:

- Incubator: Business incubators support companies by offering advanced services and facilities for entrepreneurs who have not yet advanced projects, which can become a business (Berbegal-Mirabent et al., 2015). Specifically, it focuses on providing access to physical resources, office support services, access to capital, process support, and networking services (Wright et al., 2017). This mechanism supports the company at an early stage of development, unlike other science parks (Good et al., 2019).

- Accelerator: Accelerators are a specific type of incubator where the objective is to accelerate -as implied by its name- the successful creation of a company, where the main contribution is mentoring and advising for a limited period intensively (Wright et al., 2017). This support mechanism adds value to the company by creating three features: product-market fit ventures, time-compressed scaling, and aggressive scalability testing (Shankar & Clausen, 2020).



- Science Parks: these institutions manage and exchange the flow of knowledge between universities while helping create and grow technology-based businesses, consequently creating an ideal environment for exploiting the knowledge (Berbegal- Mirabent et al., 2015). Their distinctive features are that they usually house a mix of research centers, large company divisions, small and medium-sized companies, incubators, and TTOs (Good et al., 2019).

- University Labs: This category includes academic laboratories for testing and the access that entrepreneurs can have to these resources in the product development stage (Dalmarco et al., 2018).

- Technology Transfer Professionals: In the literature, adding a specialist entrepreneur to the team provided by the university as a support mechanism was essential. It can be found as a “nurturing entrepreneur” that aims to cross the Valley of Death between the university researcher and the industrial entrepreneur through a heuristic and iterative process to find an opportunity (Takata et al., 2020). Similarly, this role is found in the literature with executives or entrepreneurs with extensive experience to attract and mentor the founding team (Thomas et al., 2020).

- University Support: This factor does not present a tangible institution as the previous points. This component addresses the support given by the university to the company to obtain socio-political legitimacy at an early stage. For example, a university spin- off will have to show legitimacy to internal (support mechanisms) or external stakeholders (investors) to obtain resources early. In case of not showing legitimacy, there is a higher probability that the company will fail, being of great importance the relationship with the university, since if this support does not exist, the spin-off will not be able to start. (François & Philippart, 2019).

This is how the block of support mechanisms for the Spin-off is composed. An overview is illustrated in

Table 3.



Table 3 Support Mechanisms overview

Main Block Elements Components

Support Mechanisms

Technology Transfer Strategy


Creation and Development of the Spin-off

Incubator Accelerator Science Park University Labs

TTP University Support

2.4.2 Financial Resources

One of the most critical factors for the development of the project is access to capital. This factor is a critical challenge presented by academic spin-offs due to the technological and market uncertainty associated with an early-stage investment and the fact that these spin-offs emerge from an academic environment that would be thought to be far from commercial activities (Soetanto & Van Geenhuizen, 2015). However, there are different sources for obtaining resources. Two elements were identified to describe these sources as a function of their return on investment (ROI): Non-Profit-Seeking Capital and Profit-Seeking Capital, based on the expected benefit that the investment will have when contributing money to the company. Table 4 shows the structure so far.

Table 4 Financial Resources

Main Block Elements

Financial Resources Non-Profit-Seeking Capital

Profit-Seeking Capital Non-Profit-Seeking Capital

This category refers to funds available to promote the development of these companies and that do not specifically expect a benefit through the return of profits, but rather through a medium or long-term social benefit that this class of technology companies can generate.

These funds are generally available in (i) government grants and (ii) seed funds (Wright et



al., 2017). As mentioned above, these aim to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and knowledge directly or indirectly in society. Profit-Seeking Capital

On the other hand, these entities seek to obtain more significant returns on their capital linked to the risk presented by technology companies. The following is a description of the most prevalent forms of financial resources to generate investment profits:

- University Venture funds: These funds aim to support local or regional economic growth by providing financing for early-stage technologies emerging from university research (Fuster et al., 2019)while generating profits for the fund owners, and the university can then use these same profits to enhance technology transfer (Good et al., 2019).

- Angel investors: They usually are individuals or groups that invest their capital. In addition to financial support, they usually provide business experience, strategic advice, and market and customer contacts (Wright et al., 2017). These stakeholders can be integrated from a pre-seed, seed, or startup stage (Würmseher, 2017).

- Crowdfunding: It is a crucial novel mechanism that focuses on supplying modest amounts of funding to startups. Entrepreneurs make pitches to a network of investors on a platform, and once the platform accepts the team, it offers its community the opportunity to invest for a fixed period (Wright et al., 2017).

- Venture Capital (VC): Venture capitalists, in addition to financial resources, usually suggest managerial talent, such as initial CEOs. Additionally, provide their network and experience to the company (Thomas et al., 2020).They are usually incorporated into the project after the company was founded (Würmseher, 2017).It is essential to consider that this type of investor is more focused on academics than students.

Nevertheless, few faculty startups meet venture capital requirements and receive investment (Wright et al., 2017). Therefore, it is a challenge to design a structure to attract this type of investor.

This is how the block of financial resources is composed. An overview is illustrated in Table 5.



Table 5 Financial Resources overview

Main Block Elements Components

Financial Resources

Non-Profit Capital Government grants.

Seed Funds.

Profit-Seeking Capital

University Venture Funds.

Angel Investors.


Venture Capital.

2.4.3 University Policies

This section aims to describe the university’s fundamental policies for technology transfer in the creation of spin-offs. Therefore, the following elements are proposed: policy towards technology commercialization, guidelines for international collaboration, and Strategic Management of Technology Transfer. Table 6 shows the structure so far.

Table 6 University Policies

Main Block Elements

University Policies

Policy towards technology commercialization Guidelines for international collaboration Strategic Management of Technology Transfer Policy towards technology commercialization

A key factor identified in the literature to enable commercialization or enhance the outcome was the university’s technology transfer policies (Wright et al., 2017). However, to achieve this drive-in spin-off creation, a crucial element was the design of mechanisms for decision- makers. The aspiration is to achieve the technology transfer office’s autonomy, increase the degree of support towards commercialization, improve the process design, create entrepreneurial orientation and research quality (Kirchberger & Pohl, 2016). These last two will be taken as one separate block due to their considerable importance in the literature.

According to Italian STEM universities regulations, some relevant points to be discussed in the creation of regulations for spin-offs are the following: general rules and procedures, monetary incentives, and entrepreneurial incentives (Fini et al., 2020). The design of these policies must be done collectively between the university administration and the departments



to increase these regulations’ effectiveness. Likewise, policies generated for one department may not necessarily be the same for another department; each department’s needs must be analyzed and therefore create the policies (Fini et al., 2020). Guidelines for international collaboration

This section could be included in the previous one. However, given the current and future cooperation between universities in different parts of the world, creating policies for this collaboration is fundamental. International university-university collaborations on technology transfer are an emerging form of collaborative technology transfer. Universities can access or acquire skills, technologies, and knowledge from their partner universities in other countries to create value within and outside their own country (De Moortel & Crispeels, 2018). It is a topic with ample opportunity for future research, where the objective will be to create policies for collaboration between foreign universities to increase the creation of spin- offs. Strategic Management of Technology Transfer

Fostering the development of university spin-offs requires several elements, from those already mentioned, such as support mechanisms, financial resources, policies, and others introduced subsequently. These elements individually will not perform strongly than aligned with the university’s strategic objectives. Therefore, to promote technology transfer, the university’s objectives and stakeholders involved in this process must be aligned (Boh et al., 2016). This integration of objectives points to what is comprehended as strategic management. In literature, this has been mentioned as a strategy for universities to face the uncertainty of the future by using concepts such as competitive advantage, organizational capabilities, and sustainable performance to help leaders identify problems and formulate strategies to achieve these strategic objectives (Siegel & Leih, 2018). Thus, it is essential to employ this approach to technology commercialization, specifically to create spin-offs.



Table 7 University Policies overview

This is how the block of university policies is composed. An overview is shown in Table 7.

2.4.4 University’s Entrepreneurial, Innovative, and Research Culture

The university’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture is a central block in this path to creating tech-based companies. As mentioned in the university’s policy block, it is found within the policies. However, it goes beyond a policy; it is creating a culture for this purpose. Therefore, it has been decided to generate a specific block for this element.

Likewise, it presents the following elements, university culture towards technology commercialization, entrepreneurial perspective, and applied research. Table 8 shows the structure of this block.

Table 8 University’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture

Main Block Elements

University’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture

University’s entrepreneurial perspective

University culture towards technology commercialization Applied research University’s Entrepreneurial Perspective

It is essential to define the university’s perspective toward entrepreneurship. This perspective is identified as the university’s vision of entrepreneurship and its actions to promote it. This can be illustrated briefly by the entrepreneurship courses provided in all its faculties and the development of identifying opportunities in the market within its students and professors (Dalmarco et al., 2018). Moreover, once their students graduate, they present technology

Main Block Elements Components

University Policies

Policy towards technology commercialization

General rules and procedures. Monetary incentives.

Entrepreneurial incentives.

Guidelines for international collaboration Policies for collaboration between foreign universities.

Strategic Management of Technology Transfer

Alignment of objectives of the required elements for spin-off creation.



commercialization as a career (Boh et al., 2016). Moreover, it is crucial to look for what is mentioned as the first step towards achieving an entrepreneurial academic ethos. This increases sensitivity to knowledge’s economic potential, whether scientific or humanistic, followed by the commitment to realize and achieve this potential (Etzkowitz, 2017). University culture towards technology commercialization

The purpose of this element falls into place when considering the following question: What will be the result of the creation of the university spin-off if the founding team is not interested in or is reluctant to commercialize the technology? Or if the university is not interested in commercializing its technology? Therefore, the culture towards technology commercialization is defined as the university’s scientists’ motivation when selecting and developing research projects driven by commercial intention. This variable is relevant because interest in commercial success in technology transfer of the researchers involved is a determining factor for spin-off success (Choi & Lee, 2000). Additionally, both the researchers and the university must show this attitude towards the interest in the transfer’s commercial success. Just as researchers have the freedom to decide on their projects, it is essential to align them with the university’s vision, as mentioned in the previous section on strategic management. Applied research

Commercializing technology interest among researchers and universities is based on the perception of discovering an opportunity in the market. To conduct applied research enables technology-market matching. In this research work, applied research is defined as developing academic research to solve a requirement or opportunity in the market or society.

For this, the quality and capacity of professors and graduate students will be necessary to carry out significant research to encourage university spin-offs (Jung & Kim, 2018). On the other hand, the university can motivate entrepreneurship by creating strategic research lines



Table 9 University’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture overview

(Dalmarco et al., 2018). These strategic research lines and researchers’ quality and abilities could lead to what is defined as applied research.

This is how the block of a university’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture is composed. An overview is shown in Table 9.

2.4.5 University Environment

A critical factor for the creation of university spin-offs is the university environment.

Specifically, it will provide external support to the creation of the companies. As in the previous points, two elements were defined for their description: the university’s regional context and its strategic vision. Table 10 shows the structure of this block.

Table 10 University Environment

Main Block Elements

University Environment Regional context

The strategic vision of the region Regional Context

According to their location, universities will have an environment in which specific actors will be involved. This ecosystem includes complex interactions between the university, government, industry, capital providers, and the talent pool (Fuster et al., 2019) (Belitski et al., 2019) (Mathisen & Rasmussen, 2019) (Wright et al., 2017). Additionally, previous

Main Block Elements Components

University’s entrepreneurial, innovative, and research culture

University’s entrepreneurial perspective

Entrepreneurial academic ethos.

Entrepreneurship lectures.

University culture towards technology commercialization

Selecting and developing research projects driven by commercial intention.

University and researchers’ interest in the transfer’s commercial success.

Applied research

Strategic research lines.

Quality and capacity of professors and graduate students to carry out significant research



university spin-offs join the support environment for future spin-offs (Fuster et al., 2019).

This interaction and policies around make the university’s location has been determined to be a critical factor for the success of spin-offs (Jung & Kim, 2018). Universities such as MIT and Stanford are located in a thriving environment characterized by their research commercialization and licensing activity (Mathisen & Rasmussen, 2019). Thus, the regional context of the university will have a role in supporting the spin-off. The strategic vision of the region

The region’s strategic vision is defined as the region’s purpose for its development. Is it to trigger entrepreneurship, innovation, and research, or will these be isolated university efforts?

However, this element was not explicitly found in the spin-off literature. Israel can be found when researching a country that stands out for its innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge progress. Two components to express this element’s essence would be the nation’s motive and the region is becoming a long-term cluster (Senor & Singer, 2011).

Finally, what will be the development of a region or country if its society shares no motive in the long run?

This is how the block of the University Environment is composed. An overview is shown in Table 11.

Table 11 University Environment overview

Main Block Elements Components

University Environment

Regional context

Universities, government, industry, capital providers, talent pool, existing


The strategic vision of the region Nation’s motive and building long-term clusters.

2.4.6 Entrepreneurial Scientist Competencies

The above categories reviewed support mechanisms, financial resources, university policies, entrepreneurial culture, and the university environment. All these elements are necessary and



Table 12 Entrepreneurial scientist skills

have been identified in the literature. However, one key element is required to succeed:

entrepreneurial scientists found in this academic environment. Thus, the following significant element is introduced: entrepreneurial scientist competencies. One variable was added to explain this category: competencies in the pre-formation stages of the company. Table 12 shows the initial structure. Pre-formation stages of the company

Throughout the entrepreneurial journey, the entrepreneur will develop specific skills over time. However, what about the scientist’s entrepreneurial abilities before venture creation?

Does he/she have any entrepreneurship training? In addition, essential resource and asset- formation decisions significantly impact the company’s future; these decisions are often taken on early or pre-formation stages, so understanding the entrepreneur’s early competencies is crucial (Aslan & Marc, 2018). Therefore, the following essential competencies are introduced:

Identification and development of an opportunity: The ability to transform scientific knowledge into a commercial product or service sold in the marketplace (Rasmussen

& Wright, 2015).

Technology Market Matching: The ability to define the market early in scientific ventures that have broad applicability. In general, this capability is not as commonly found when the project is in the laboratory. However, it could greatly benefit a long time from invention to innovation and significant capital(Thomas et al., 2020).

Attracting and Mentoring the Founding Team: The founding scientist, or supported by a star scientist if the university has one, performs this activity by mentoring scientist entrepreneurs, identifying and nurturing business talent, and attracting venture capitalists to the company who are likely to add people to the team (Thomas et al., 2020).

Main Element Variables

Entrepreneurial scientist competencies Pre-formation stages of the company



Strategic time of firm formation: The timing of critical decisions such as attracting human capital and sufficient funding are relevant in the early stages. These decisions must be quality, unbiased, consider the environment and change (Thomas et al., 2020).

Claiming and protecting the invention: The ability to define and protect the invention intellectually. This method enhances the probability of obtaining external financing for the spin-off (Thomas et al., 2020).

Championing: The ability to induce the team to commit to creating the new company by providing meaning and energy during the entrepreneurial process (Rasmussen &

Wright, 2015).

Resource acquisition: The ability to access and organize the resources necessary to develop the spin-off (Rasmussen & Wright, 2015).

Table 13 shows how the block of Entrepreneurial scientist competencies is composed.

Additionally, an overview of all the blocks is shown in Table 14.

Table 13 Entrepreneurial scientist competencies overview

Main Block Elements Components

Entrepreneurial scientist competencies

Pre-formation stages of the


Identification and development of an opportunity Technology market matching

Attracting and mentoring the founding team Strategic time of firm formation

Claiming and protecting the invention Championing Resource acquisition


Documento similar

Genome mining is a powerful paradigm for the discovery and characterization of natural product biosynthetic genes mainly because is possible to obtain a massive amount of

Para esta pregunta el 23% de las empresas encuestadas dijeron que realizan su proceso de identificación de clientes más rentables de una manera administrada esto quiere

The surfaces, clay roofing tiles, with hybrid properties of superhydrophobicity and superhydrophilicity could be created by the deposition of functionalized and

Table 3 Interaction energies (in kcal/mol) as calculated at the PBE/SVP, with dispersion- correction (D3) and dissolvent effect (CPCM) for the noncovalent complexes between GLY

Three cocoa bean (Theobroma cacao L.) fermentations were carried out with a duration of 6 days simulating the box technique, with the aim to observe the biochemical changes and

A comparison was made between the experimental results and the model prediction of paraquat degradation (Figure 5.22) and formation of active chlorine species whose role was to

First (a,d), second (b,e) and third (c,f) columns correspond to the first-, second- and third-order EMHPM, respectively. 69 Figure 4.6 Representation of the first-order

The synthesized photocatalysts were studied through photocatalytic degradation of selected contaminants and the photocatalytic experiments were carried out in different water