Organizational Modularity and Intra-University Relationships Between Entrepreneurship Education and Technology Transfer

Tom Byers, Stanford University

Both entrepreneurship education and commercialization of university research have witnessed remarkable growth in the past two decades. These activities may be complementary in many respects, as when participation in an entrepreneurship program prepares a student to start a company based on university technology, or when technology transfer personnel provide resources and expertise for an entrepreneurship course. At the same time, however, the activities are distinct along a number of dimensions, including goals and mission, influence of market conditions, time horizon, assessment, and providers and constituency. We argue that this situation presents an organizational dilemma: How should entrepreneurship and technology transfer groups within a university maintain independence in recognition of their differences while still facilitating synergies resulting from overlapping areas of concern?

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