Universities and The Locational Dynamics of Academic Entrepreneurship: An Approach for The State of São Paulo, Brazil


  • Filipe Scorsatto Faculdade de Ciências Aplicadas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • Bruno Brandão Fischer Faculdade de Ciências Aplicadas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • Paola Rücker Schaeffer Departamento de Política Científica e Tecnológica, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Estadual de Campinas




Academic Entrepreneurship, Geography of Entrepreneurship, Regional Development, Universities


Purpose - This research aims to investigate the dynamics of location of academic entrepreneurs in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, and its association with the respective universities of origin.

Method - A total of 1,082 PIPE/FAPESP projects were analyzed between 1998 and 2017, allowing the construction of heatmaps that demonstrate consistent patterns of geographic distribution of knowledge-intensive academic entrepreneurship in the State of São Paulo.

Main results - While research-intensive public universities play a leading role in the generation and retention of entrepreneurs at the local level, the distance from developed markets significantly reduces the concentration of spin offs in regions.

Theoretical/methodological contributions – Findings have implications for the notion that universities’ campuses can trigger levels of regional development, since the causal relationships in this process seem to be linked to both endogenous factors and processes exogenous to the university.

Relevance/originality - Issues involved in this analysis include topics of central interest in the search for a deeper understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of entrepreneurship ecosystems in the Brazilian context.


Download data is not yet available.


Abreu, M., & Grinevich, V. (2013). The nature of academic entrepreneurship in the UK: Widening the focus on entrepreneurial activities. Research Policy, 42(2), 408-422.

Ács, Z., Audretsch, D., & Feldman, M. (1992). Real effects of academic research: comment. American Economic Review, 82(1), 363-367.

Albuquerque, E. (1999). National systems of innovation and non-OECD countries: notes about a rudimentary and tentative typology. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 19(4), 35-52.

Alvedalen, J., & Boschma, R. (2017). A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems research: towards a future research agenda. European Planning Studies, 25(6), 887-903.

Alves, A., Fischer, B., Vonortas, N., & Queiroz, S. (2018). Configurations of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial ecosystems: An assessment of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Anais do X Encontro de Estudos em Empreendedorismo e Gestão de Pequenas Empresas, São Paulo, 10.

Alves, A., Quelhas, O., Silva, M., & Lameira, V. (2015). On the role of university in the promotion of innovation: exploratory evidences from a university-industry cooperation experience in Brazil. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 17(1), 1-18.

Asheim, B., Smith, H., & Oughton, C. (2011). Regional Innovation Systems: theory, empirics and policy. Regional Studies, 45(7), 875-891.

Audretsch, D. (2012). Determinants of high-growth entrepreneurship. Relatório apresentado no OECD/DBA International Workshop on "High-Growth Firms: local policies and local determinants, Copenhagen.

Audretsch, D. (2014). From the Entrepreneurial University to the University for the Entrepreneurial Society. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 39(3), 313-321.

Audretsch, D., & Belitski, M. (2017). Entrepreneurial ecosystems in cities: establishing the framework conditions. Journal of Technology Transfer, 42(5), 1030-1051.

Audretsch, D., & Feldman, M. (1996). R&D spillovers and the geography of innovation and production. The American Economic Review, 86(3), 630-640.

Audretsch, D., Keilbach, M., & Lehmann, E. (2006). Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth. New York: Oxford University Press.

Audretsch, D. B., Lehman, E. E., & Warning, S. (2005). University spillover and new firm location. Research Policy, 34(7), 1113-1122.

Azagra-Caro, J., Pardo, R., & Rama, R. (2014). Not searching, but finding: how innovation issues shapes perceptions about universities and public research organisations. Journal of Technology Transfer, 39(3), 454-471.

Baltzopoulos, A., & Broström, A. (2013). Attractors of Entrepreneurial Activity: universities, regions and alumni entrepreneurs. Regional Studies, 47(6), 934-949.

Beckman, C., Eisenhardt, K., Kotha, S., Meyer, A., & Rajagopalan, N. (2012). Technology entrepreneurship. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 6(2), 89-93.

Benneworth, P., Coenen, L., Moodysoon, J., & Asheim, B. (2009). Exploring the Multiple Roles of Lund University in Strengthening Scania's Regional Innovation System: towards institutional learning? European Planning Studies, 17(11), 1645-1664.

Berggren, E., & Dahlstand, A. (2009). Creating an Entrepreneurial Region: two waves of academic spin-offs from Halmstad University. European Planning Studies, 17(8), 1171-1189.

Boschma, R., & Martin, R. (2010). The aims and scope of evolutionary economic geography. [Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography #10.01]. Utrecht University - Urban & Regional Research Centre.

Bramwell, A., & Wolfe, D. A. (2008). Universities and regional economic development: The entrepreneurial University of Waterloo. Research Policy, 37(8), 1175-1187.

Calcagnini, G., Favaretto, I., Giombini, G., Perugini, F., & Rombaldoni, R. (2016). The role of universities in the location of innovative start-ups. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 41(4), 670-693.

Castro, B., & Souza, G. (2012). O papel dos Núcleos de Inovação Tecnológica (NITs) nas universidades brasileiras. Liinc em Revista, 8(21), 125-140.

Charles, D. (2006). Universities and key knowledge infrastructures in regional innovation systems. The European Journal of Social Science Research, 19(1), 117-130.

Cohen, W., Nelson, R., & Walsh, J. (2002). Links and Impacts: the influence of public research on industrial R&D. Management Science, 48(1), 1-23.

Collini S. (2012). What Are Universities for? London: Penguin.

Cowan, R., & Zinovyeva, N. (2013). University effects on regional innovation. Research Policy, 42(3), 788-800.

Dewes, M., Dalmarco, G., & Padula, A. (2015). Innovation policies in Brazilian and Dutch aerospace industries: How sectors driven by national procurement are influenced by its S&T environment. Space Policy, 34, 32-38.

Di Gregorio, D., & Shane, S. (2003). Why do some universities generate more start-ups than others? Research Policy, 32(2), 209-227.

Dorfman, N. (1983). Route 128: the development of a regional high technology economy. Research Policy, 12(6), 299-316.

Egeln, J., Gottschalk, S., & Rammer, C. (2004). Location Decision of Spin-offs from Public Research Institutions. Industry and Innovation, 11(3), 207-223.

Etzkowitz, H. (1998). The norms of entrepreneurial science: cognitive effects of the new university-industry linkages. Research Policy, 27(8), 823-833.

Etzkowitz, H. (2002). MIT and the Rise of the Entrepreneurial University. New York: Routledge.

Etzkowitz, H. (2004). The evolution of the entrepreneurial university. International Journal of Technology and Globalization, 1(1), 64-77.

Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (1998). The Endless Transition: A “Triple Helix” of University-Industry-Government Relations. Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning & Policy, 36(3), 271-288.

Etzkowitz, H., & Zhou, C. (2017). Hélice Tríplice: inovação e empreendedorismo universidade-indústria-governo. Estudos Avançados, 31(90), 23-48.

Faggian, A., & McCann, P. (2009). Human capital, graduate migration and innovation in British regions. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33(2), 317-333.

Feldman, M. (1999). The new economics of innovation, spillovers and agglomeration: a review of empirical studies. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 8(1-2), 5-25.

Feldman, M. (2001). The entrepreneurial event revisited: firm formation in a regional context. Industrial and Corporate Change, 10(4), 861-881.

Ferreira, J., Fayolle, A., Fernandes, C., & Raposo, M. (2017). Effects of Schumpeterian and Kirznerian entrepreneurship on economic growth: panel data evidence. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 29(1-2), 27-50.

Fischer, B., Queiroz, S., & Vonortas, N. (2018a). On the location of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in developing countries: lessons from São Paulo, Brazil. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 30(5-6), 612-638.

Fischer, B. B., Schaeffer, P. R., Vonortas, N. S., & Queiroz, S. (2018b). Quality comes first: university-industry collaboration as a source of academic entrepreneurship in a developing country. Journal of Technology Transfer, 43(2), 263-284.

Fischer, B., Schaeffer, P., & Vonortas, N. (2018c). Evolution of University-Industry Collaboration in Brazil from a Technology Upgrading Perspective. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Forthcoming.

Freitas, I., Marques, R., & Silva, E. (2013) University-industry collaboration and innovation in emergent and mature industries in new industrialized countries. Research Policy, 42(2), 443-453.

Fritsch, M. (2008). How does new business formation affect regional development? Introduction to the special issue. Small Business Economics, 30(1), 1-14.

Galán-Muros, V., & Davey, T. (2017). The UBC ecosystem: putting together a comprehensive framework for university-business cooperation. Journal of Technology Transfer. Forthcoming.

Gilbert, B., Audretsch, D., & McDougall, P. (2004). The emergence of entrepreneurship policy. Small Business Economics, 22(3-4), 313-323.

Gonçalves, E., & Cóser, I. (2014). O programa de incentivo à inovação como mecanismo de fomento ao empreendedorismo acadêmico: A experiência da UFJF. Nova Economia, 24(3), 555-585.

Guerrero, M., & Urbano, D. (2012). The development of an entrepreneurial university. Journal of Technology Transfer, 37(1), 43-74.

Guerrero, M., Urbano, D., Fayolle, A., Klofsten, M., & Mian, S. (2016). Entrepreneurial universities: emerging models in the new social and economic landscape. Small Business Economics, 47(3), 551-563.

Hayter, C. (2016). A trajectory of early-stage spinoff success: the role of knowledge intermediaries within an entrepreneurial university ecosystem. Small Business Economics, 47(3), 633-656.

Heblich, S., & Slavtchev, V. (2014). Parent universities and the location of academic startups. Small Business Economics, 42(1), 1-15.

Hsu, D., Roberts, E., & Eesley, C. (2007). Entrepreneurs from technology-based universities: Evidence from MIT. Research Policy, 36(5), 768-788.

Ipiranga, A., Freitas, A., & Paiva, T. (2010). O empreendedorismo acadêmico no contexto da interação Universidade - Empresa - Governo. Cadernos EBAPE, 8(4), 676-693.

Isenberg, D (2010). How to start an entrepreneurial revolution. Harvard Business Review, 88(6), 40-51.

Jiao, H., Zhou, J., Gao, T., & Liu, X. (2016). The more interactions the better? The moderating effect of the interaction between local producers and users of knowledge on the relationship between R&D investment and regional innovation systems. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 110, 13-20.

Kirzner, I. (1997). Entrepreneurial discovery and the competitive market process: an Austrian approach. Journal of Economic Literature, 35, 60-85.

Kolympiris, C., Kalaitzandonakes, N., & Miller, D. (2015). Location choice of academic entrepreneurs: Evidence from the US biotechnology industry. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(2), 227-254.

Krabel, S., & Mueller, P. (2009). What drives scientists to start their own company? An empirical investigation of Max Planck Society scientists. Research Policy, 38(6), 947-956.

Krugman, P. (1998). What’s new about new economic geography? Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 14(2), 7-17.

Landry, R., Amara, N., & Rherrad, I. (2006). Why are some university researchers more likely to create spin-offs than others? Evidence from Canadian universities. Research Policy, 35(10), 1599-1615.

Larsson, J., Wennberg, K., Wiklund, J., & Wright, M. (2017). Location choices of graduate entrepreneurs. Research Policy, 46(8), 1490-1504.

Lazzeretti, L., & Tavoletti, E. (2005). Higher education excellence and local economic development: The case of the entrepreneurial University of Twente. European Planning Studies, 13(3), 475-493.

Lee, K., Lim, G., & Tan, S. (1999). Dealing with resource disadvantage: generic strategies for SMEs. Small Business Economics, 12(4), 299-311.

Mason, C., & Brown, R. (2013). Entrepreneurial ecosystems and growth oriented entrepreneurship. Artigo apresentado no Workshop Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Growth Oriented Entrepreneurship, OECD LEED Programme, The Hague.

Miller, D., & Ács, Z. (2017). The campus as entrepreneurial ecosystem: the University of Chicago. Small Business Economics, 49(1), 75-95.

Mok, K. (2005). Fostering entrepreneurship: Changing role of government and higher education governance in Hong Kong. Research Policy, 34(4), 537-554.

Mowery, D., & Sampat, B. (2005). Universities in national systems. In J. Fagerberg, D. Mowery, & R. Nelson (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Innovation (209-239). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Oakey, R., Hare, P., & Balazs, K. (1996). Strategies for the exploitation of intelligence capital: evidence from Hungarian research institutes. R&D Management, 26(1), 67-82.

Polonyová, E., Ondos, S., & Ely, P. (2015). The location choice of graduate entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom. Miscellanea Geographica, 19(4), 34-43.

Poods, R., Oort, F., & Frenken, K. (2010). Innovation, spillovers and university-industry collaboration: an extended knowledge production function approach. Journal of Economic Geography, 10(2), 231-255.

Porto, G., Kannebley Jr., S., Selan, B., & Baroni, J. (2011). Rede de interações universidade-empresa no Brasil: uma análise de redes sociais. Revista de Economia, 37(n. especial), 51-84.

Rothaermel, F., & Ku, D. (2008). Intercluster innovation differentials: The role of research universities. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 55(1), 9-22.

Ryan, M. (2010). Patent Incentives, Technology Markets, and Public–Private Bio-Medical Innovation Networks in Brazil. World Development, 38(8), 1082-1093.

Salles-Filho, S., Bonacelli, M., Carneiro, A., Castro, P., & Santos, F. (2011). Evaluation of ST&I programs: a methodological approach to the Brazilian Small Business Program and some comparisons with the SBIR program. Research Evaluation, 20(2), 159-171.

Santos, M. & Mello, J. (2009). IPR Policy and Management of University Technology Transfer Offices in Brazil. Proceedings of the 7th Biennial International Conference on University, Industry and Government Linkages, Triple Helix Association, Glasgow, 7.

Schaeffer, P., Fischer, B., & Queiroz, S. (2018). Beyond education: the role of research universities in innovation ecosystems. Foresight and STI Governance, 12(2), 50-61.

Shane, S. (2004). Encouraging university entrepreneurship? The effect of the Bayh-Dole Act on university patenting in the United States. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(1), 127-151.

Siegel, D., & Wright, M. (2015). Academic Entrepreneurship: Time for a Rethink? British Journal of Management, 26(4), 582-595.

Siegel, D., Wright, M., & Lockett, A. (2007). The rise of entrepreneurial activity at universities: organizational and societal implications. Industrial and Corporate Change, 16(4), 489-504.

Stam, E. (2009). Entrepreneurship, Evolution and Geography. [Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography #09.13]. Utrecht University - Urban & Regional Research Centre.

Tornatzky, L., Waugaman, P., & Gray, D. (2002). Innovation U.: new university roles in a knowledge economy. Raleigh: Southern Growth Policies Board.

Youtie, J., & Shapira, P. (2008). Building an innovation hub: a case study of the transformation of university roles in regional technological and economic development. Research Policy, 37(8), 1188-1204.



How to Cite

Scorsatto, F., Fischer, B. B., & Rücker Schaeffer, P. (2019). Universities and The Locational Dynamics of Academic Entrepreneurship: An Approach for The State of São Paulo, Brazil. Iberoamerican Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 8(3), 134–165. https://doi.org/10.14211/regepe.v8i3.1381