Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship > Vol 8 > Issue 2

Biotechnology Entrepreneurship

By Holger Patzelt, Technische Universität München, Germany, | Lars Schweizer, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, | Judith Behrens, Technische Universität München, Germany,

Suggested Citation
Holger Patzelt, Lars Schweizer and Judith Behrens (2012), "Biotechnology Entrepreneurship", Foundations and TrendsĀ® in Entrepreneurship: Vol. 8: No. 2, pp 63-140.

Publication Date: 15 May 2012
© 2012 H. Patzelt, L. Schweizer and J. Behrens
High technology
L26 Entrepreneurship
BiotechnologyInnovation networksClustersStrategic alliances

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In this article:
1 Introduction 
2 Definitions and Concepts 
3 Regional-Level Research on Biotechnology Entrepreneurship 
4 Firm-Level Research on Biotechnology Entrepreneurship 
5 Individual-Level Research on Biotechnology Entrepreneurship 
6 Future Research and Conclusion 


Biotechnology is one of the strongest growing industries of the twentyfirst century. Yet, the sector is still young and many biotechnology firms are at an early stage of their life cycle. Thus, biotechnology and entrepreneurship are intrinsically linked together, and over the last years a substantial number of articles in the entrepreneurship literature have studied biotechnology at the regional, firm, and individual level of analysis. This monograph reviews the literature on biotechnology entrepreneurship. First, at the regional level, we focus on innovation networks and biotechnology clusters. Second, at the firm level, we illustrate strategies and business models of biotechnology firms and the determinants of their success. We also elaborate on strategic alliances of biotechnology ventures, and on mergers and acquisitions in the biotechnology industry. Third, at the individual level of analysis, we review the literature on strategic decision making in the biotechnology industry and the role of the management team for biotechnology ventures' development. We conclude our review by offering future research opportunities within and across levels of analysis for scholars interested in the field of biotechnology entrepreneurship.

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Table of contents:
Definition and Concepts
Regional-Level Research on Biotechnology Entrepreneurship
Individual-Level Research on Biotechnology Entrepreneurship
Future research and Conclusions

Biotechnology Entrepreneurship

Biotechnology Entrepreneurship reviews past research on biotechnology at different levels of analysis. The goal is to highlight important research streams that scholars have pursued over the last two decades and illustrate some key findings. After an introduction, the authors introduce some key definitions and concepts which are necessary for readers new to the field of biotechnology entrepreneurship to understand the studies subsequently introduced. The monograph summarizes work on biotechnology entrepreneurship at the regional level and extends the review to the firm and individual levels of analysis, respectively. Finally, it highlights future research opportunities in the field of biotechnology entrepreneurship and draws final conclusions.