Abstract: Many researches celebrated Academic Spin-Offs (ASOs) for their key driver role in regional development, as a consequence of optimistic data about their growth dynamics. At the same time, literature highlights also substantial differences with Corporate Spin-Offs (CSOs), established by independent entrepreneurs from existing corporate context. Just in few cases literature refers to their comparison in terms of IP (Intellectual Property) strategies, always without establishing a clear connection with their growth rate. Framed in the above premises, the paper intends to provide a contribution to the following research question: How IP strategies can influence ASOs and CSOs growth rate? At this aim, moving from the existing literature and from the specificities of the health sector, a theoretical framework is designed according to three main blocks: growth indicators, technology exploitation processes and IP strategies. In the first block, economic, financial and intangible indicators are taken into account; the second block relates to the technology exploitation processes consisting of ten stages that could fit with both ASOs and CSOs; the third block identifies, for each stage of the exploitation process, the possible IP strategies, highlighting the main alternative options in term of IP protection. The proposed framework fits on the particular requirements of health industry, characterized by a rigid exploitation process and it is designed to extract and compare the IP strategies used by ASOs and CSOs. The framework will contribute to verify if these alternative choices have an impact in term of growth rates and if there are any weakness elements that affect their growth capacity. Implications for theory allow to identify reasons and strategies for which the exploitation of Intellectual Property to commercial products proceeds with higher success rates in corporate than in the universities spin off. Practical implications allow to technology entrepreneurs to decide the best IP strategy mix in new ventures.
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