Exploring Critical Factors for Academic Start-ups towards the Development of Technological Entrepreneurship: Preliminary Research Findings
Purpose: The purpose of the study is to present a discussion of the theoretical framework that illustrates a great variety of defining the concept of technological entrepreneurship in the management science literature. The empirical research aims at evaluation of critical factors supporting the creation and development of academic start-ups as well as obstacles to setting up academic ventures. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper draws on a broad literature review, covering various approaches to the concept of technological entrepreneurship. The author tries to critically analyze and synthesize the views of scholars on this phenomenon using the following methods: exploration, interpretation, comparing, analysing features, and inferring. The empirical research applies the method of in-depth structured direct interviews with experts in the field of commercialization and technology transfer, academic entrepreneurship, and start-up incubation. Both descriptive and explanatory techniques were used in the presented study. Findings: The research findings provide insightful guidance for the ways of supporting start-ups with academic origin and for more effective business-science cooperation. The current reflections on the concept of technological entrepreneurship in management sciences confirm the multidimensionality of the phenomenon and two main research lines, namely one focused on technological innovations created and implemented mainly by high-tech enterprises, and the other one on academic entrepreneurship and the intellectual potential of universities and R&D institutes for commercialization of research findings leading to development of innovative products and services. Practical Implications: The synthesis of the current reflections on the concept of technological entrepreneurship and the research findings reflected here can benefit both entrepreneurship teachers’ practice at HEIs, researchers, and employees of business incubators as a source for further analysis and the relevance of the methods used. Originality/Value: The originality of the conducted exploratory research lies in presenting the factors supporting operations of academic start-ups diagnosed by the author and their evaluation by experts with many years of experience in the field of business-science collaboration. Moreover, the paper provides an integrated research framework that build on and add value to the previous research on technological entrepreneurship in management sciences.