Academic entrepreneurship in South East Asia: An exploratory study of spin-offs in biotechnology from Hong Kong universities
University research with associated spin-offs is at the heart of knowledge generation in the biotechnology industry. However, only a few studies have so far dealt with biotechnology university spin-offs in Hong Kong (HK), a latecomer in this industry. The purpose of this research is to gather information about the history and innovative status of biotechnology university spin-off companies in HK in order to understand the dynamics of this phenomenon better. This study arrived at several important conclusions about biotechnology spin-off firms in Hong Kong; specifically that the firms are relatively small in size and young, were mostly formed by university staff, and created with joint effort. In addition, these firms developed commercial products and services, are aware of intellectual property protection, are motivated to create spin-offs in order to apply knowledge to practical applications and utilize market opportunities. However, the firms also face challenges, such as difficulties in accurately estimating the market demand for their products, and technical problems in the development and production of their products. Furthermore, difficulties with financing are also an important inhibitor to success. © 2012 Copyright Korean Society for Innovation Management and Economics (KOSIME).