Clarysse, Bart; Lockett, Andy; Quince, T.; Van de Velde, Els (2002)
This study analyses the spin-out activity in seven technology transfer units, which are considered to be successes in Europe: Crealys in France, the Top Initiative of the university of Twente in the Netherlands, Leuven R&D at the KUL in Belgium, Business Develop-ment at IMEC in Belgium, BioM in Germany (Munich area), Technology Transfer Partners (TTP) and Scientific Generics, both in Cam-bridge, UK. In each of these institutes, an in depth analysis is made of how they organise the following activities: (1) sensibilisation and Detection of opportunities, (2) management of IPR, (3) selection of spin-out projects, (4) incubation and business plan preparation, (5) financing of these spin-outs and finally (6) the follow-up of spin-outs after start-up. Based upon the analysis of these activities, three different models have been defined: a self selective model, a supportive model and a protective model. In the first model, the specific aim is to generate as many start-ups as possible. Stimulating general entrepreneurship rather than financially or economically attractive companies are thus the goal. This means that sensibilisation and opportunity seeking is the main activity. In the second model, the emphasis lies on creating economically attractive companies with a transitional starter profile. These companies might not yet have a financially attractive business plan but have the ambition to make one in the future. Usually they are based upon the IP generated in the mother institute. Management of IPR and business plan preparation are crucial activities in this model. Finally, the protective model focuses on the creation of financially attractive companies, which receive VC-money at start. In addition to the previous activities, also financing activities are of crucial importance here. In addition to analysing the activities developed in each of these models, also theresources necessary to organise these activities are examined. In the first model, the crucial resources seem to be an experienced entrepreneur as manager who can sensibilise students, researchers and professors to start up a company and public money to facilitate this start up. In the second model, a financially autonomous organisation is needed which is strongly supported by the top management of the university in its activities. This organisation needs to have a minimum critical mass of people specialised in legal issues, IPR and business plan development. In addition, a public-private early stage. Capital fund is needed to support the start-ups. Finally, the protective organisation needs a worldwide recognised leading research team in a particular technology. The tech transfer or business development unit needs to be able to incubate the organisation and facilitate the recruitment of external management, attraction of international early stage venture capital and the formation of the company's intellectual property base.
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