The effects of incubation on academic and non-academic high-tech start-ups: Evidence from Italy

Colombo, M.G.; Piva, E.; Rentocchini, F.
Economics of Innovation and New Technology

This study aims at empirically investigating whether technology incubators help academic high-tech start-ups to establish collaborations with other organizations, thus increasing the competitiveness of these firms. In doing so, we take into account the specificities of academic high-tech start-ups with respect to their non-academic counterparts. We compare the effects of incubation on academic and non-academic high-tech start-ups through econometric estimates using a large sample of Italian firms. Our findings suggest that incubated academic high-tech start-ups do not enjoy any advantages in establishing collaborations with respect to their non-incubated peers. Conversely, technology incubators do help non-academic high-tech start-ups in establishing collaborations with public research organizations. We thus come to the interesting conclusion that the effects of incubation are moderated by the genetic characteristics of incubated firms.