Shareholder networks of university spinoff companies: Firm development and regional characteristics

Daniel Prokop, Fumi Kitagawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper contributes to the understanding of university spinoff (USO) development by analysing structural properties of their shareholder networks over time and across different regions. Theoretically, we propose a new stage-based typology of USO development across regions. Empirically, the study utilises a sample of 1033 academic spinoffs founded by 87 universities across 12 unitary regions in the UK considering the diversity of spatial contexts in the USO development. We undertake a social network analysis of relations USOs form with their parent universities and shareholders by adopting ‘betweenness centrality’ and ‘structural holes’ as two key measures. By employing this novel networkbased view of firm development across regions, this study builds on the development model of USOs by identifying three key phases of USO development: 1) organisation phase, 2) exploitation phase, and 3) maturity and reorganisation phase. Second, we observe differences in USOs in terms of shareholder network development across diverse regional contexts. We propose a novel typology of entrepreneurial regions to better understand the diverse spatiality of USOs: peripheral lock-in, entrepreneurial periphery, rigid core, and entrepreneurial core. We call for further research to capture the long-term development and variable growth paths of USOs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2116
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number10
Early online date13 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • academic spinoffs
  • universities
  • networks
  • network evolution
  • firm growth
  • regional economic development


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