Handbook of Universities and Regional Development
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Handbook of Universities and Regional Development

Edited by Attila Varga and Katalin Erdős

The Handbook on Universities and Regional Development offers a comprehensive and up-to-date insight into how academic institutions spur their surroundings. The volume sheds light on universities as regional development actors from a historical perspective by introducing institutional changes and discussing the interrelatedness of society, business and academia. It provides detailed investigations on various knowledge transfer mechanisms to help understand the diverse ways through which ideas and intellectual property can flow between universities and businesses. Detailed case studies from three continents (Europe, Asia, and America) demonstrate the highly contextual nature of the interactions between academia, industry and government.
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Chapter 10: The under-researched role of alumni spin-off entrepreneurs in upgrading a university’s entrepreneurial support structure: essential ingredient or just a decorative accessory?

Arne Vorderwülbecke and Rolf Sternberg


University spin-off formation can impact local economic growth. This paper addresses the contribution to a university's entrepreneurial support structure by individuals who started a company out of a university. If this contribution is sustainable enough, it may induce a self-amplifying process by which the university's entrepreneurial support-structure is continuously upgraded. Based on a qualitative case study of Leibniz University Hannover, including expert interviews and an in-depth document analyses, it is shown that alumni spin-off entrepreneurs indeed play an important role for a university's entrepreneurial support structure. However, the empirical findings indicate to a differentiation in respect of the nature of such a contribution. While it is an essential ingredient for the realization of particular support measures, it is only a decorative accessory for the evolution of such a structure. The contribution of alumni spin-off entrepreneurs to the upgrade of a university's entrepreneurial support structure leads to the named self-amplifying process.

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