Forget R&D – pay my coach: young innovative companies and their relations with universities

Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro, Francisco Mas-Verdú, Victor Martinez-Gomez
Young innovative companies (YICs) are attracting attention in their role of industry regenerators. However, we have little information about their relations with universities as sources of information. This paper explores university-industry interaction involving YIC in the Valencian Community, using YIC founders’ personal attributes and motivations as explanatory variables. The Valencian Community has a relatively high degree of university-industry interaction, but surprisingly little technological innovation. A survey of YICs in the region shows that, in their case, firm size does not affect the probability of contracting with universities, and that R&D intensity is not significant if we consider firm founders’ personal characteristics and motivations. YIC founders exploiting market opportunities recognized in previous business activities, and necessity entrepreneurs, are the least likely to interact with universities. We highlight the role of external advisory services to highlight the benefits of universities.