Early-stage fundraising of university spin-offs: a study through demand-site perspectives

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University spin-offs have increasingly received attention from academia, governments and policy-makers. However, there are only a limited number of studies within the university spin-off context which fully understand the contribution made by the founding team to fundraising, specifically how they use their social networks and capabilities. Employing resource-based theory and social networks approach, this paper examines whether a founding team exploits its social networks and capabilities to signal the value of a university spin-off. Capabilities are analysed through a set of constructs – technology, strategy, human capital, organizational viability and commercial resource – that have been derived from previous literature. The contribution made by social networks is evaluated using three dimensions – structure, governance and content – which form the construct of relationships within a network. Based on data from 181 university spin-offs in Spain, this paper empirically demonstrates that by exploiting social networks a founding team can improve its capabilities which, in turn, enhance its fundraising ability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-367
Number of pages23
JournalVenture Capital
Issue number4
Early online date12 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • University spin-offs
  • fundraising
  • founding teams,
  • resource-based view
  • social networks


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