TAKE-HOME
EXAMINATION
BED-3047
Network papers

Candidate nr.7

SUBMITTED:
26th October 2012
Candidate nr.7

Table of Contents
Summary ...................................................................................
Candidate nr.7

I.

Summary:
In this paper I explore three distinct concepts: academic entrepreneurship, university

spin-...
Candidate nr.7

II.

Academic entrepreneurship and university spin-off in literature:

Academic entrepreneurship is creati...
Candidate nr.7

show that through well-defined licensing contracts one can still encourage the
inventors to disclose their...
Candidate nr.7

and this model generates more revenue for the university. Moreover, it makes the
university’s administrati...
Candidate nr.7



I want to touch on some challenges and obstacles facing academic global start-ups,
because I believe it...
Candidate nr.7

The creation of entrepreneurial network (Witt Petter, 2004):
1. The first chain called “networking activit...
Candidate nr.7

3. In the third phase (evaluating the benefits from the network), the network can be
measured through the ...
Candidate nr.7

Figure 3: the actors and the mutual relationships with the entrepreneur from my understanding

In order to...
Candidate nr.7

IV.

Implementation.

This section is about how to apply the theoretical concepts on my real life business...
Candidate nr.7



Maintaining my network by continuously contacting the partners via periodic
emails or regularly calling...
Candidate nr.7

o Bringing value to myself by for example offering advice and showing
interest in a variety of topics.
o S...
Candidate nr.7

The needed resources in my network
o Mentor: particularly in the first stages in business, I think I need ...
Candidate nr.7

If I want to apply the concept of academic entrepreneurship on university of Tromso, I
think the universit...
Candidate nr.7

References
1. Sijde, P., Wirsing, B., Cuyers, R., & Ridder, A. (2002). “New Concepts for Academic
Entrepre...
Candidate nr.7

9. Litan, Robert E., Lesa Mitchell, and E. J. Reedy. "COMMERCIALIZING
UNIVERSITY INNOVATIONS: ALTERNATIVE ...
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Academic entrepreneruship + networking papers

  1. 1. TAKE-HOME EXAMINATION BED-3047 Network papers Candidate nr.7 SUBMITTED: 26th October 2012
  2. 2. Candidate nr.7 Table of Contents Summary .............................................................................................................. 2 Academic entrepreneurship and university spin-off in literature .................. 3 Factors influence academic entrepreneurship ............................................................. 3 Transfer technology approaches .................................................................................... 4 Challenges in academic entrepreneurship ..................................................................... 5 Entrepreneurial Network in literature.............................................................. 6 The creation of entrepreneurial network ...................................................................... 7 Evaluating entrepreneurial network ............................................................................... 7 Obstacles and challenges in networking ........................................................................ 9 The implementation ......................................................................................... 10 Building my network as an academic entrepreneur ............................................... 10 How I do create my network practically .................................................................. 11 The needed resources in my network ....................................................................... 13 Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 13 The references ................................................................................................... 15 1
  3. 3. Candidate nr.7 I. Summary: In this paper I explore three distinct concepts: academic entrepreneurship, university spin-off firms, and social networking in order to build up a network for acquiring the resources I need to start a university spin off and how I will develop and maintain it. Academic entrepreneurship is defined as academic members within university behaveing in such a manner as to be able to create business through transferring knowledge from university to real life. Many factors have an impact on academic entrepreneurship. These include, among others, university transfer technology policy, which is supposed to facilitate the process of transferring technology to commercialization activities; technology transfer intermediaries, which are supposed to manage transferring technology and build links with external partners who have the capacity for commercialization activities as well as for running other operations; and university characteristics, for example quality of the university’s research. Different approaches can be followed to find external partners, who can carry technology out to the market and cooperate in spinning off firms. Examples of this can be looking for regional alliances, looking for partners through internet-based approaches or through faculty-loyalty approaches. Academic entrepreneurship faces many challenges from different aspects, like how to connect university scientists with the right contacts, how to define the entrepreneurship policy and recognizing the challenges facing global academic entrepreneurship. Having an entrepreneurial network is an important part for an academic entrepreneur to support him in spinning off his business through providing resources, knowledge among other supporting tools.. Building a network is significant for academic entrepreneurs particularly in the first stages of establishing a business, when it needs resources and experience which a new entrepreneur may not necessarily have. Firstly, networks can be built by creating networking activities, then maintaining them and managing them according to the need of the business. Network evaluation is necessary in order to improve the performance and that can be achieved through measuring the performance in the three different phases of building a network. The last part of this paper is the implementation of the theoretical concepts based off my real business case as an academic entrepreneur. For example, how to create my own network to start my own business as an academic entrepreneur and which kind of network partners I need to carry my business to success. 2
  4. 4. Candidate nr.7 II. Academic entrepreneurship and university spin-off in literature: Academic entrepreneurship is creating an environment in order to exploit knowledge and to stimulate entrepreneurial behaviors within a university, between its members (Sijde, 2002). The concept also includes research and education behaviors which lead one to become income-oriented through taking risk, which creates stability for the university through getting involved in business activities (Balázs, 1996). Academic entrepreneurship provides experiential opportunities for students through a Start-up company in a real world situation which makes the students focused and helps them to understand how to run a business. (Malcolm Kahn, interview 2011)1 University spin-off firms can be defined as a special kind of spin-off, established in order to exploit technology – which has been developed within a university – commercially (Danny P., 2010). To spin off a firm, one needs resources for both running and growing the business. The main way to get these required resources is through networking, which can influence the growth of university spin-offs according to tightness, strength, social heterogeneity and how far away network partners are (Danny P., 2010). Social networks play a critical role, particularly in the early stage of spin-offs, and the profile of these networks should be built on a resource-based perspective (Danny P., 2011). Factors influence academic entrepreneurship There are many factors that influence academic entrepreneurship and transferring technology like university technology transfer policies, technology transfer intermediaries, and university characteristics (Aida Caldera, 2010):  University technology transfer policies (Aida Caldera,2010) The universities aim to facilitate knowledge transfer using a fast and efficient method to carry it to the commercial stage. So the strategy should be clear and have guidelines to manage the transfer of the knowledge without obstacles and without bad influences on the university since its first mission is teaching and research. One of the main problems, which should be solved through the policies, is disclosing the knowhow to TTO (Siegel et al., 2003, 2007). However, some studies (Aida Caldera, 2010) 1 Vice-president for Enterprise Development and Licensing SIT, Malcolm Kahn said students are the customers of a university, and they need the skills to enter the workforce in a prepared fashion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FE52GnppU 3
  5. 5. Candidate nr.7 show that through well-defined licensing contracts one can still encourage the inventors to disclose their ideas  Technology transfer intermediaries(Aida Caldera,2010) It is necessary to have an intermediary between the idea providers and the commercialization agents in order to manage the process of transferring the technology- and here, TTO and Science Park play a role. The researchers in the university disclose their inventions to the university TTO. TTO also evaluates the invention’s equality, obtaining patents, fixing licensing contracts and also helps in spin-offs. Successful transferring does not only rely on the quality of the invention, but also on the TTO’s experience in transferring the knowledge. A science park is important to facilitate the interaction between the university and the firms which were established by the university.  University characteristics(Aida Caldera,2010) The university characteristics- also known as institutional characteristics- which consists of e.g. the size of the university, the quality of research or the location, has a positive impact on the performance, in addition to the quality of the technology. Transfer technology approaches: Many different approaches can be followed to transfer technology to the commercialization stage (Robert E., 2007). The university usually does not have the resources to carry the technology to the commercialization activities. So it needs a link between it and the external part which has the capability to carry inventions further examples of this includes bearing patent cost or commercialization activities. Transfer technology can be happen through TTO.  Regional alliance (Robert E., 2007): this kind of third part is recommended to small research universities which have no capability to support a seasoned and highly able licensing Commercializing Innovations.  Internet-based Approaches (Robert E., 2007): This kind is closely related to regional alliances. This approach is about linking who owns the idea to who is ready to implement it by using the internet to facilitate the commercialization.  Faculty loyalty (Robert E., 2007): This approach is considered to be the most widely used. It fits better for well-run universities, because the faculty takes risks by giving up their intellectual rights which encourages the external agents to commercialize it, 4
  6. 6. Candidate nr.7 and this model generates more revenue for the university. Moreover, it makes the university’s administration focus on its activities. Figure nr.1 illustrates the links between the university and the external partner - according to the articles I went through and my own understanding- in order to start up a new business. In domain nr.1, it shows that the university can be linked to an external partner through TTO. Furthermore, it shows how a Science Park is used to evaluate and develop the university’s scientists. In domain nr.2, it shows the different approaches used (they are explained above) in order to look for a third part that is going to carry the technology further to the commercialization stage. Finally, in domain nr.3, we can see how the university and external partner cooperate to establish a firm, and how the Science Park collaborates in developing the idea behind the business. Figure nr.1: Illustration of the linkages between the university and the external partner in order to transfer technology. Challenges in academic entrepreneurship  Science students from different scientific fields, which have good ideas for business, and who want to launch a business but without leaving their field, have a lack of appropriate contacts to help them by providing the resources to carry their ideas out of the university and making it generate revenue ( Jerry McGuire, interview 2010) 2  Defining certain entrepreneurship policies in an organization in order to recognize both the entrepreneurial and scholarly activities (Jerry McGuire, interview 2010). 2 Jerry McGuire, Associate Vice Chancellor of Economic Development at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro discusses the trends and changing expectations of a college education and community engagement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdSaV2BTlq4 5
  7. 7. Candidate nr.7  I want to touch on some challenges and obstacles facing academic global start-ups, because I believe it is important for the world in general. In the case of an academic global start-up, there are 3 main challenges to consider ( Jose M. ,2003): o Lack of commitment towards internationalization: It is important to build a global vision for academic entrepreneurs who have little or no management experience that makes them able to identify international business opportunities. Moreover, in order to set up global activities, they need a global partner- something which is hard to find (Jose M., 2003). o Lack of managerial experience and international skills. Many scientists don’t have experience in entrepreneurship or business to play role in global start-up (Jose M., 2003). o Lack of resources for internationalization. Resources like time, money, and credibility which are necessary to reach different markets in different countries (Jose M., 2003). III. Entrepreneurial Network in literature. A Network usually consists of many nodes and connections between them, and that is the structure of the network (Walker 1988). Networking activities have a positive influence on the founders and their start-up’s success. Networking also means having a trusted group of contacts, who exchange relations either between individuals, between individual institutions or between individuals and organizations like firms, universities, authorities, etc (Witt Petter, 2004). Building and maintaining large entrepreneurial network is important and recommended when an entrepreneur wants to have a successful start-up where he can use his personal network contacts to drive benefits for it. A start-up business requires knowledge and skills which an entrepreneur might not have. In order to get benefits, some features should be characteristic of the network partners like entrepreneurial experience, social competency, their level of education, among others (Sandaran P., 2002, P.69). 6
  8. 8. Candidate nr.7 The creation of entrepreneurial network (Witt Petter, 2004): 1. The first chain called “networking activities” where an entrepreneur creates, sustains and extends his entrepreneurial networks 2. The second chain called “network structure” where the entrepreneur has to analyze the structural characteristics of his network at some points, and it can be the same as measuring the result of the networking activities in the earlier stage. 3. The third chain is called “the benefits received from the network.” It can be close to the firm’s performance to measure the benefit of the information and any other services received through the network. Figure nr.2 demonstrates the networking model according to the articles I have read and my own opinion. The first phase shows the creation of the network and how the infinity operation sustains and expands the network. In the second phase, the entrepreneur evaluates his network to see the result of the networking activities, and in case of unsatisfied results, he can return back to the first phase to make the network better. In the third phase, an entrepreneur evaluates the benefits he got through the network, and in case of a negative evaluation, the entrepreneur has to return back to the second phase to evaluate the network structure again. There is a positive relationship between networking and benefits. For example the large amount of networking activities that an entrepreneur has gotten engaged in, how large the personal network is, and how central his position is within the network- all these factors mentioned can define how much benefit an entrepreneur will gain through the network. Evaluating entrepreneurial network Measuring entrepreneurial network within the three aforementioned phases can be done using some criteria for each phase (Witt Petter, 2004). 1. In the first phase (creating, maintaining, and expanding), the network can be measured through time spent on networking and frequency of communicating to actual network partners 2. In the second phase (network structure analysis), the network can be measured through the number of network partners with whom the entrepreneur discusses business ideas, the diversity of the network, and the density of the network, which means the contacts between the network partners. 7
  9. 9. Candidate nr.7 3. In the third phase (evaluating the benefits from the network), the network can be measured through the frequency of new information provided by the network, and the extent of support from the network partners. Figure2: Model- from my point of view- of creating network till getting the benefits An entrepreneur creates and develops some external relationship with sets of actors which are defined as those who do the activities and control the resources, and they can be informal partners and/or formal organizations (Sandaran P., 2002, p.70-72). Also there are other kinds of actors who are considered as temporary and can be categorized in three categories (see figure nr.3): a social network of actors- including relatives, friends and acquaintances; inter-firm network of actors, which consists of other firms; and a supporting network of actors- including governmental agencies, NGOs, and banks, which support emerging businesses (Sandaran P., 2002, p.70-72). However, the actors are still not limited to individuals and organizations. There are some common areas or characteristics of the actors in the network, who control resources and activities, as well as developing relationships through exchange processes like having their own goals. Diversity of knowledge and the actors maintains the link between them thanks to the resources and activities provided (Sandaran P., 2002, p.70-72). 8
  10. 10. Candidate nr.7 Figure 3: the actors and the mutual relationships with the entrepreneur from my understanding In order to have a good cooperation or alliance between the network’s members, the trust and commitment between them should be developed, because as long as higher trust and commitment between the partners exists, the higher the alliance’s performance will be (Cullen, 2000). Obstacles and challenges in networking: Many obstacles can be faced either within the network structure or before, while building the network itself:  Life-cycle stage (Christine E., 2010): which means lack of time for partners to communicate, sometimes it needs daily communicating, especially in start-up businesses.  Lack of knowledge about residents (Christine E., 2010): the lack of knowledge that a company has about others because of lack of contact.  Lack of trust (Christine E., 2010): lack of trust leads to avoiding sharing information with other partners.  No diversity (Rob Cross, 2011): It is important to have the right people. That is, have many different categories of relationships in order to fill all the knowledge gaps  No quality of partners (Rob Cross, 2011). If there is no quality in the ties, then there will not be any development in the performance. The partner should be eligible to provide new information, resources, mentoring, sense-making, feedback among others 9
  11. 11. Candidate nr.7 IV. Implementation. This section is about how to apply the theoretical concepts on my real life business. I believe that I need an entrepreneurial network when it comes to running my business project because of my needs to get a deeper market insight. This is due to the fact that I do not think I can get complete market insight by myself due to a lack of experience in business/marketing experience in marketplace of various countries like Norway, as well as a lack of understanding of Norwegian culture. Also I believe I need a network because it can give me the chance to discover new business opportunities through exchanging opinions. I think social networking can help me to reach the right decision by reaching the right people who can help me to sharpen my decision. Social networking can also give me access to customers who can give me feedback about my business as well as suggestions on how to make my service or product better. Furthermore, a social network can help me to gain access to people in order to develop my business further not just technically, but also in any other way that improves my business in general. . I believe also that I need a team to manage my tasks and this team can be created through a social network. I think in order to build my entrepreneurial network; I have to work on myself to develop my skills in such a way that it can give my brand some features that will convince potential partners to get involved in my network. Also I think I need to improve my skills because networking myself is about showing my skills or selling myself to others through sharing my ideas, my knowledge, my experience, and my opinions. I can show my skills also through offering advice when it comes to some points in my field. Building my network as an academic entrepreneur I believe that when I want to build my network, I should take care of some points.  Finding out who I need in my network which fits my required resources according to my business. For example, which field my business belongs to, which market it is going to work in, what kind of operations are going to run through my business etc….  Daring to introduce myself and exploit every opportunity I can get to introduce myself to potential partners for my network, e.g. Through the university, social life, and so on. 10
  12. 12. Candidate nr.7  Maintaining my network by continuously contacting the partners via periodic emails or regularly calling them by phone. I will also maintain my network by helping the partners in the form of giving advice or offering my resources.  Managing my network by dividing it among different levels according to my needs because I do not think I can give every link in the whole network the same priority as it can result in costing me time, money and revealing ideas or knowledge without getting anything in return. I think there should be mutual benefit, so I think I can put more effort on the network’s partners which are more relevant to my needs. How I do create my network practically  Preparing to create my network: here I need to identify specific steps which can make me reach my goal of building a network: o Identifying my needs such as resources, services and knowledge which are required for my business. o Identifying some potential partners as individuals or companies where I can expect to receive some benefit from working with them. o Defining partners which I think they can influence the processes of my business through asking their opinions or advices. Or through people who can help me to take the right decision. o Identifying how and where to meet potential partners, for example at school, in conferences, during social life’s events, to name a few. . o Building my brand in order to be a potential partner for others also and making myself a convincing salesman for them.  Executing building my network 1. Building my brand and reputation. o Start building my brand and sell myself as a potential partner for others. This can be accomplished by differentiating myself from others in that I have specific, desirable features. For example using my knowledge in I.T. and my skills which I got through the BCE program. o Being aware of opportunities where I can be recognized by others, for example through school events, conferences, workshops, social events etc… 11
  13. 13. Candidate nr.7 o Bringing value to myself by for example offering advice and showing interest in a variety of topics. o Showing confidence in my acting and in my opinions, and through showing that, I know what I want exactly and have devised plans to achieve my goals. o Be careful to maintain an untarnished reputation, in case someone was to run a background check on me, for example if someone decides to google me, what they would find. Or how do others talk about me. o Showing interesting in people I meet. o Being positive when doing a favor because it might be returned. 2. Maintaining the network o After meeting people, it is important to contact them shortly after the initial meeting. o Using modern tools for keeping in contact with partners. For example, LinkedIn or through the social media site, Facebook. o Sending positive e-mails periodically. o Creating reasons that will make others remember me. o Taking care of others’ needs, and taking the initiative to offer advice or help when applicable. o Avoiding talking badly about them in front of others. o Creating some social events and concentrate on enjoying their company. o Don’t talk business all the time which might make others tired and possibly jeopardize the partnership as a consequence. 3. Managing the network o Defining the needed resources, experiences, knowledge and other needed things for my business o Determine which partners from my network have the defined needs in order to categorize them in the most important level of partners to spend more time and more effort for increasing the partnership with them, and categorize the less important partners in another category in order to spend the appropriate time for them which will save my time. o In case lack of the required partner. I need to go back again to creating and maintaining network 12
  14. 14. Candidate nr.7 The needed resources in my network o Mentor: particularly in the first stages in business, I think I need a guy with experience about the market and known of the tricks in the market to avoid falling down. o Connector: I think I need a guy to be as door opener who knows a lot of people who might be part of my team. People are often hold good information, and are able to find opening that other don’t see. o Industry insider: I need to a guy holds expertise within the specific field. Provide insights about future opportunities and developments o Realist: I need a guy who can provide reality check to plans and challenge my efforts to reach goal. o Dreamer- visionary- : I need a guy who can provide inspiration and see opportunities. o Coach: I need a guy who can help with critical decisions and transitions and V. offer an objective perspective with no things attached. Conclusions After exploring many articles about academic entrepreneurship, university spin off, technology transfer and entrepreneurial network, I think all these topics deserve focusing on in order making university a source for supporting the economy and develop the market further continuously. I think in order to growing academic entrepreneurship up, university should focus first of all about building a good policy and strategy for that to make the process of technology transfer goes smoothly. Secondly I think university has to work on connecting science students with proper network which can help them to carry out their ideas to success. 13
  15. 15. Candidate nr.7 If I want to apply the concept of academic entrepreneurship on university of Tromso, I think the university has a good opportunity of in that field because of the unique geographical location which makes it unique in some fields, and because of it is surrounded by good business environment in Tromso city which can enhance building good network in order helping students to exploit their ideas within the university. Moreover because of the entrepreneurship awareness in the university which it can be noticed by the frequent conferences, or through business school. 14
  16. 16. Candidate nr.7 References 1. Sijde, P., Wirsing, B., Cuyers, R., & Ridder, A. (2002). “New Concepts for Academic Entrepreneurship,” In Proceedings of the USE-it! Conference 2002 (pp. 5-11). Enschede: Twente University Press. 2. Balázs, K. 1996. Academic entrepreneurs and their role in knowledge transfer. November.Steep Discussion Paper No. 37. University of Sussex: Brighton. 3. McGuire, Jerry. "Trends and Changes in Academic Entrepreneurship." Interview. Trends and Changes in Academic Entrepreneurship. Innovation Transfer Network, 2010. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdSaV2BTlq4 >. 4. Soetanto, Danny P., and Marina Van Geenhuizen. "Social Capital Through Networks: The Case Of University Spin-Off Firms In Different Stages." Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie 101.5 (2010): 509-20. Print. 5. Soetanto, Danny P., and Marina Van Geenhuizen. "Social Networks, University Spinoff Growth and Promises of ‘living Labs’." Regional Science Policy & Practice 3.3 (2011): 305-21. Print. 6. Caldera, Aida, and Olivier Debande. "Performance of Spanish Universities in Technology Transfer: An Empirical Analysis." Research Policy 39.9 (2010): 1160173. Print. 7. Siegel, D.S., Waldman, D., Link, A., 2003. Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative productivity of university technology transfer offices: an explanatory study. Research Policy 32 (1), 27–48. 8. Siegel, D.S., Veugelers, R., Wright, M., 2007. Technology transfer offices and commercialization of university intellectual property: performance and policy implications. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 23 (4), 640–660. 15
  17. 17. Candidate nr.7 9. Litan, Robert E., Lesa Mitchell, and E. J. Reedy. "COMMERCIALIZING UNIVERSITY INNOVATIONS: ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES." Commercializing Innovations: Alternative Approaches (2007): 1-35. Print. 10. Kahn, Malcolm. "Entrepreneurship in Malaysia." Interview. UKM Pioneering Academic. UKM, 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FE52GnppU >. 11. Gómez-Gras, José M., Jesús T. Pastor-Ciurana, Domingo Galiana-Lapera, Ignacio Mira-Solves, and Antonio J. Verdú-Jover."INDICATORS OF ACADEMIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP." Monitoring Determinants, Start-up Activity and Wealth Creation (2003): 1-150. Print. 12. Walker, G. 1988 Network analysis for cooperative interfirm relationships, in Contractor, F. and Lorange, P.(eds), Comparative Strategies in International Business (Lexington: Rowman & Littlefield) pp. 227–240. 13. Witt, Peter. "Entrepreneurs’ Networks and the Success of Start-ups." Entrepreneurship & Regional Development 16.5 (2004): 391-412. Print. 14. Premature, Sandaran P. Entrepreneurial Networks and Small Business Development: The Case of Small Enterprises in Sri Lanka. Eindhoven: Univ. Pr., 2002. Print 15. Cullen, John B., Jean L. Johnson, and Tomoaki Sakano. "Success through Commitment and Trust: The Soft Side of Strategic Alliance Management." Journal of World Business 35.3 (2000): 223-40. Print. 16. Cooper, Christine E., Stephanie A. Hamel, and Stacey L. Connaughton. "Motivations and Obstacles to Networking in a University Business Incubator." Springer Science Business Media,LLC, 25 Sept. 2010. 17. Cross, Rob, and Robert Thomas. "Managing Yourself: A Smarter Way to Network." Http://www.infinityfg.com/admin/uploads/uploads_19.pdf. Infinity Financial Search Group’s,2011, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. 16

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