How can high-tech companies apply Student Surrogate Entrepreneurs on internal ideas

University essay from Lunds universitet/Innovationsteknik

Abstract: High tech companies are constantly searching for ways to innovate their business, and open innovation has become a widely known concept and an important ingredient for companies in their way to becoming more innovative. Areas and clusters around the globe where the industry and University closely collaborating are organically increasing, and have proven to be a crucial mechanism in enabling innovation, spreading ideas and initiating more people to the start up arena. Large companies appear not possess the necessary skills for early stage innovation, whereas an external individual could serve as a catalyst and complement with the necessary skills, especially in terms of commercialization. Due to this, as well as indicators of students searching for entrepreneurial experience and an increased interest in entrepreneurship, there is great potential for companies to use students as entrepreneurs to commercialize internal ideas. The purpose of this study is to investigate how high-tech companies can apply Student Surrogate Entrepreneurs on internal ideas, by investigating the important themes related to the phenomenon as well as different models used to apply Student Surrogate Entrepreneurs. In total, 22 interviews were conducted with students, idea inventors, representatives from universities, companies and incubators, from existing solutions of applying Student Surro- gate Entrepreneurs and a case organization and its local ecosystem. The interviews were performed in order to identify key stakeholders, possibilities and blockers around important themes related to applying Student Surrogate Entrepreneurs and what different models there are to apply Student Surrogate Entrepreneurs on company ideas. The following five themes are identified in this study: (1) motives, (2) resources and costs, (3) ownership model and contracting, (4) matching the student profile with idea, (5) the characteristics of the idea. From the identified themes the authors suggest key success factors for applying Student Surrogate Entrepreneurs on internal company ideas. Further, the study identified the following models; (1) the university-platform model, (2) the intermediary-platform model and (3) the internal-platform model. Finally, the study contributes with a recommendation to a case organization. Keywords: Surrogate Entrepreneurship, University-Industry Collaboration, Open Innovation, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Venture Creation Education

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