The aim of this article is to analyze the role that universities can play in contributing to the development of spinoffs. The characterizing element is the link spinoffs have with universities. The link is not limited only to the incubation phases, but continues through the whole life cycle of spinoffs, facilitating their development and survival. This link was analyzed in spinoffs generated by Italian universities and financed by the Italian law on industrial research. The article provides conceptual arguments, and both primary and secondary empirical evidence. The results obtained from the overall analyses, allow us to confirm that the link with universities is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, for the consolidation of spinoffs. Finally, the article presents limits and possible implications for future research.
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