In recent decades, with the rise of biopharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, new materials, a new science-based entrepreneurial firm (SBEF) was born.
In this paper, we designed an exploratory comparative multiple-case study of science-based entrepreneurialfirms created by the Nobel Prize-winning scientists to commercialize their research. The focus on those firms is representative of entrepreneurial science-based firms because these firms require extensive financial resources for an extended period of time to develop new products in emergent scientific and technological areas with high levels of uncertainty. We studies the development and evolution characteristics of science-based entrepreneurial firms from four dimensions: management team, funding sources, enterprise cooperation and product development. Through the analysis of such enterprise management teams, it is found that the management of science-based entrepreneurial firms is usually composed of “frontier scientists + business men”, which not only enables enterprises to be at the forefront of scientific research, but also effectively protects enterprise resource acquisition and operation; From the perspective of funding sources, the initial sources of funding include government funds and venture capital. Government funds support early R&D and reduce the risk of private investment. The main sources of funding for the development stage are venture capital, IPO, commercial cooperation and operating intellectual property. Diversified sources of funds effectively support the company’s huge research and development expenditures; corporate cooperation mainly includes academic cooperation and commercial cooperation. Academic cooperation keeps enterprises at the forefront of science while obtaining the latest patents; Business cooperation shortens the product development, speeds up product launch, and consolidates science-based entrepreneurial firms’ market position; science-based entrepreneurial firms have long product development cycles and high risks; in addition, these companies not only develop consumer products, but also develop technology platform for the research institutions or enterprises.
Understanding the development and evolution of science-based entrepreneurialfirms is an important question for practitioners and policymakers. Many countries invest heavily in sustaining a strong and healthy science base, but face challenges in the ability to commercialize and benefit from the economic impact of science. This study contributes to conceptual discussions of science-based entrepreneurial firms growth and has important policy and practitioner implications.