Academic Entrepreneurship: University Spinoffs and Wealth by Scott Andrew Shane

By Scott Andrew Shane

In the course of my tenure at Cornell University's Entrepreneur In place of dwelling, i discovered Scott Shane's booklet to be a priceless source jam-packed with information and perception.

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In 1924, Harry Steenbok, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, invented a way to enhance the Vitamin D content of foods, beverages and medicines through irradiation (Mowery and Sampat, 2001b). Unlike many academics at the time, Professor Steenbok decided to patent his invention, resulting in severe criticism from his academic colleagues, and many members of the American medical profession, who felt that universities should put any inventions that they produced into the public domain (Mowery and Sampat, 2001a).

2002). At a more micro level, Wallmark (1997) found that 30 out of 38 spinoffs from Chalmers Institute of Technology were located in the same city as the university, Gothenburg, Sweden. The best evidence for the geographic localization of university spinoffs is that provided by Roberts (1991a). He observed that spinoffs not only tend to be founded in the same city and state as the university from which they emerged, but are often established in locations geographically very proximate to the laboratories in which they were born.

Spinoffs are an effective vehicle for encouraging inventor involvement University spinoffs are also valuable entities because they are effective mechanisms for getting inventors involved in the process of technology commercialization, a necessary condition for the development of products or services from university technology. University inventions often require additional development to be commercialized, with the knowledge necessary to undertake this additional development being tacit. 5 Inventor involvement is easier to achieve through the formation of a spinoff company than through licensing to an established company, for several reasons.

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