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Previous studies on social capital in the field of entrepreneurship have clearly demonstrated its importance for venture creation projects. However, very little attention has so far been paid to the dynamics of social capital development during the technology-venture creation process, or in the spinoff process. To understand the development of social capital for technology entrepreneurs in university spinoffs, in-depth case studies were carried out in eight university technology spinoffs in Brazil. The research process was inductive, exploratory, and qualitative in nature. Data were collected mainly through semistructured interviews with entrepreneurs and incubator managers. The data were then deconstructed over time into venture creation phases and were processed and analyzed. This led to the construction of an analysis framework that divided the venture creation process into four steps: initiation, preparation, startup, and consolidation. Our findings revealed that during initiation, entrepreneurs use mostly technological social capital, whereas in the preparation phase, they tend to make more use of their support contacts and begin to use their financing contacts. In the startup phase, social capital activities are more varied and involve technological, support, financing, and business contacts. In the final phase, consolidation, there seems to be more focus on the business network. The paper addresses different theoretical perspectives and suggests the existence of a “differentiated relations contingency” at each step in the construction of social capital during the technology-venture creation process.


  • social capital
  • technological entrepreneurship
  • spin-offs
  • technology spin-offs
  • university spin-offs
  • technology venture creation
  • network
  • entrepreneurial ecosystem
Candido Borges
Louis Jacques Filion
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