AN ANALYSIS OF THE REASONS AFFECTING THE EVOLUTION OF ACADEMIC SPIN-OFF FOUNDERS’ MOTIVATIONS
The paradigm of the Triple Helix emphasizes the role of universities in the modern knowledge-based economy (Eztkowitz, 2003). According to this paradigm, universities are moving from their traditional role of research, teaching, and knowledge dissemination to an entrepreneurial role (Hayter, 2011). Academic spin-offs (ASOs) are new firms or organizations founded by university researchers and/or technical staff aiming at commercializing ideas based on university discoveries and inventions (e.g. Bigliardi et al., 2013). Several studies show that to stimulate ASOs’ establishment it is of fundamental importance the first stage of an ASO’s life cycle, that is the “creation”. This phase largely depends on the needs and motivations of the individual founder, which plays a critical role in the subsequent business performance (Hayter, 2011). Through a review of the literature, we aim at investigating the motivational factors that lead an academic to establish a spin-off, and specifically to investigate if, how and why these motivations vary over time. Drawing on existing works, we want to outline the debate on academics’ entrepreneurial motivation.
 Bigliardi, B., F. Galati, and C. Verbano 2013. “Evaluating Performance of University Spin-off Companies: Lessons from Italy". Journal of Technology Management and Innovation 8(2):178–188.
 Etzkowitz, H. 2003. “Innovation in Innovation: The Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations”. Social Science Information 42(3):293–337.
 Hayter, C.S. 2011. “In search of the profit-maximizing actor: Motivations and definitions of success from nascent academic entrepreneurs. Journal of Technology Transfer 36:340–352.