University spin-off firms in sustainable energy in five countries: what determines their reaching of the market?

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It is widely acknowledged that the transition towards a more sustainable energy productionand use needs to be accelerated. Whether young high-tech ventures can contribute to such anacceleration is a matter of debate. To contribute to this debate, this article aims to clarify theconditions under which a specific type of young high-tech ventures, university spin-off firms,bring inventions in sustainable energy to market in a quickly manner. The study draws on aselected sample of spin-offs (37) and four case-studies in Northwest Europe, and appliesrough-set analysis to explore the influence of different sets of conditions. We observe that thefollowing conditions provide the highest chance for a quick development, namely, located inan ‘Innovation Leader’ country and involved in multiple networks. Next important is acombination of practical orientation (founders) and access to substantial investment capital.In addition, we observe that time may be critically important, for example, in a quickfinancing of a global sales organization and in pay-back time after substantial investment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 56th European Regional Science Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event56th European Regional Science Conference - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 23 Aug 201626 Aug 2016


Conference56th European Regional Science Conference
Internet address


  • university spin-off firms
  • sustainable energy innovation
  • entrepreneurial orientation
  • market introduction
  • time

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