Technologist-entrepreneurs versus non-entrepreneurial technologists: Analysis of motivational triggering factors

Erkko Autio, Ilkka Kauranen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Here the motivational characteristics of technologist-entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurial technologists are compared. A factor analysis divides entrepreneurial motivations into four groups: exploitation of environmental opportunities, internal personal motivations, technology push motivations, and market pull motivations. The analysis suggests that, of these, internal personal motivations may be decisive for the decision to establish a new firm. While non-entrepreneurial technologists stress the importance of environmental opportunities, technologist-entrepreneurs stress the importance of internal personal motivations. Technology push motivations and market pull motivations do not seem to distinguish technologist-entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurial technologists. These findings have implications for the efforts to encourage the formation of new, technology-based firms in research communities. It is recommended that, in addition to designing support programmes aimed at encouraging researchers to establish new firms, increased effort should be directed at attracting potential entrepreneurs to research institutions. This aim can be achieved, for example, by working conditions in the research institutions emulating those of the science park.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-328
Number of pages14
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Decision process
  • High technology entrepreneur
  • Innovation
  • Motivation
  • Technology transfer
  • Triggering motivational factor


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