Academic entrepreneurship: what are the factors shaping the capacity of academic researchers to identify and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities?

XIII Seminario Latino-Iberoamericano de Gestión Tecnológica. 25-27 Noviembre 2009
Recent research has shown the expansion of the academic entrepreneurship phenomenon. However, little is known about the factors that contribute to the development of the entrepreneurial skills among academic scientists. This paper contributes by improving our understanding of the attributes of academic researchers that influence the capacity to identify and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities. We investigate a number of factors highlighted in the literature as influencing the capacity of academics to identify and exploit commercial opportunities. The analysis builds upon four sets of data, combining primary and secondary data sources. Our results show that identification and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities are shaped by different factors. It is particularly important to establish collaborations with potential users in order to develop entrepreneurial skills. Moreover, those academics who were involved in inventorship are more likely to recognise and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities. Finally, conducting research in multiple fields has a positive and significant impact on exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities, but it has a negligible impact on its identification. The opposite is found for academic excellence: researchers who conducted research of the highest impact are more likely to identify entrepreneurial opportunities, but research impact has a negligible effect on the capacity to exploit entrepreneurial opportunities.
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia