Who Needs Business Experience? How Pre-Foundation Innovation Activities Impact Early Exports

Achim Walter, Thomas Ritter, Nicole Coviello, Nora Otte

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    This paper investigates how early internationalization is impacted by certain pre-founding innovation activities of an academic spin-off’s team. Framed in the imprinting, experiential knowledge and network literatures, we combine and assess patent analysis with survey data. Our findings link the founding teams’ pre-foundation R&D and customer collaborations to early exports. We also show that pre-foundation involvement in these various forms of collaboration, as well as a diverse stock of prior technical knowledge, can compensate for a lack of business experience in the team. The results also show that prior business experience does not predict very early export (within three years). Our results offer fresh insight to the international business and international entrepreneurship literatures, and implications for policy development. In particular, international R&D collaborations at public research institutions should be fostered to allow academic spin-offs the greatest potential for early internationalization of their technology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages28
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015: Opening Governance - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 75


    ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015
    Internet address


    • Academic spin-off
    • Early internationalization
    • Innovation

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