In recent years, a “third mission” pursued by universities, i.e. knowledge transfer to industry and society, has become more important as a determinant of enhancements in economic growth and social welfare. In the vast world of technology transfer practices implemented by universities, the establishment and management of university venture capital and private equity funds (UFs) is largely unknown and under-researched. The focus of this work is to provide a detailed description of this phenomenon from 1973 to 2010, in terms of which universities set-up UFs, their target industries and the investment stages of portfolio companies, which types of co-investors are involved in the deals, and which are the determinants of UFs’ ultimate performances. The picture offers us the opportunity to draw some implications about the relevance of UFs in different contexts (i.e. Europe and the United States) and provide to interested stakeholders with some useful guidelines for future development.
- Fund performance
- Technology transfer
- Third mission
- University-managed funds
- Venture capital and private equity