Evaluating Performance of University Spin-Off Companies: Lessons from Italy
Academic spin-offs are very special start-up companies that are founded by an academic inventor with the aim to exploit technological knowledge that originated within a University setting in order to develop products or services. During the last two decades, academic spin-offs have received increasing attention from both researchers and practitioners, mainly due to their ability to advance industrial application of scientific knowledge. Much of the studies available in literature on this matter, however, have focused on USA’s spin-offs, while still little attention has been paid to the European countries, and to Italy in particular. Thus, the aim of our research is twofold: first, to fill this gap in literature. Second, to propose, on the basis of the above mentioned literature review, a model of ex-ante evaluation of the spin-off companies’ performance. Specifically, the research methodology followed was a combination of literature analysis and Delphi technique: we first extensively reviewed the extant literature on spin-off companies, then we proposed to a panel of expert the indicators that emerged from the literature as affecting the performance of academic spin-offs.