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Taking technological opportunities to the market: the role of university-based business plan competitions in supporting high technology commercialisation

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McGowan, Pauric and Cooper, Sarah (2008) Taking technological opportunities to the market: the role of university-based business plan competitions in supporting high technology commercialisation. In: The 16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference : May 22-23, 2008 + May 21 Doctoral Workshop, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands., 22 May 2008 - 23 May 2008, Enschede, The Netherlands .

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Event: The 16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference : May 22-23, 2008 + May 21 Doctoral Workshop, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands., 22 May 2008 - 23 May 2008, Enschede, The Netherlands
Abstract:Encouraging technology-based entrepreneurship is central to the policy agendas of governmental and non-governmental economic development agencies in many industrialised and newly-industrialising countries. Entrepreneurs are central to venture creation and evidence indicates that, following secondary and, typically, tertiary education, most work for one or more employers prior to establishing a technology-based venture on their own or with others. As a result of this “entrepreneurial apprenticeship” many technology entrepreneurs establish businesses in their mid- to late thirties. Developing a thorough understanding of product/service markets and devising strategies to access, serve and support customers are major challenges for founders of technology-based businesses. Ventures established by individuals or groups with relevant commercial experience benefit from the knowhow and networks of their founders. This paper explores the role of university business plan competitions in stimulating entrepreneurial activity and technology transfer from two universities in Northern Ireland by focusing on entrants in the 2007 £25k Enterprise Award Scheme business planning competition. Such initiatives tend to attract students/recent graduates and members of university staff which raises the question as to how such teams develop commercially-robust ventures, given that, on the face of it, most have little or no commercial experience. Based upon analysis of the business plans of the top ten ventures from the 2007 competition this paper explores characteristics of the entrepreneurial teams, their choice of product/service offerings and aspects of the markets they target.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/proceedings/111
Organisation URL:http://www.utwente.nl/bms/nikos/
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