Sustainability and scalability of university spinouts: a business model perspective

Ali Ziaee Bigdeli, Feng Li, Xiaohui Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most previous studies of university spinouts (USOs) have focused on what determines their formation from the perspectives of the entrepreneurs or of their parent universities. However, few studies have investigated how these entrepreneurial businesses actually grow and how their business models evolve in the process. This paper examines the evolution of USOs' business models over their different development phases. Using empirical evidence gathered from three comprehensive case studies, we explore how USOs' business models evolve over time, and the implications for the financial sustainability and operational scalability of these ventures. This paper extends existing research on the development of USOs, and highlights three themes for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-518
JournalR&D Management
Issue number3
Early online date25 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ziaee Bigdeli, A., Li, F., & Shi, X. (2015). Sustainability and scalability of university spinouts: a business model perspective. R&D Management, Early view., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


  • business model
  • university spinout
  • sustainability
  • start-up firms


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