I-Corps Hub funds research projects on tech startups, broadening participation

Nov. 29, 2023

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Projects that explore factors related to founding a technology-based startup and broadening participation in innovation were awarded funding last year through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Northeast I-Corps Hub. The grants support the exploration of methods for effectively translating technological discoveries into benefits for society.

Investigating the role of tangible assets

One team of researchers is investigating the role of an organization’s intangible assets (such as knowledge and resources), also known as intellectual capital, on the success and development of new technology-based firms. The study looks at two key components of intellectual capital: human capital and structural capital. The researchers identify the starting intellectual capital of technology-based startups, track how it evolves over time, and assess its impact on firm-level outcomes such as financial capital raised, alliances formed, and overall growth or disbandment. The study, titled “The effects of intellectual capital on firm resources and outcomes,” also aims to fill gaps in the literature by observing the “reverse” effects of acquired resources on the firm's intellectual capital and by capturing data from both surviving and disbanded firms. 

Investigators: Lee Zane, associate professor of management at Rowan University, and Andrea Farro, assistant professor of management at Rowan University.

Evaluating management team composition

Another project aims to fill gaps in the business model literature by examining the impact of top management team composition on business model designs in university spinouts. Two theoretical viewpoints are scrutinized: the value-in-diversity hypothesis, which predicts that a diverse workforce is generally beneficial for business success, and homophily theory, which contends that similar individuals will associate with one another and act in a similar manner. The study, titled “Business model design of university spinouts: exploring the effects of team composition on university spinout business model novelty and efficiency among I-Corps participants,” explores both surface and deep-level diversity within top management teams, and assesses the impact of entrepreneurship training on team-level cognitive diversity

Investigator: Marcus Crews, assistant professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at Loyola Marymount University.

Additional project in progress

Funding for a third project was awarded to Daniel Levin, professor in the department of management and global business at Rutgers University, Jaume Villanueva, assistant professor in the department of management and global business at Rutgers University, and Sanghoon Hoonie Kang, assistant professor in the department of management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School. Details will be published when they are available.