Small Business Economics

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

Public knowledge, private knowledge: the intellectual capital of entrepreneurs

  • Albert N. Link
  • Christopher J. Ruhm


This paper focuses on the innovative actions of entrepreneurs, namely their tendency to reveal the intellectual capital that results from their research efforts either in the form of public knowledge (publications) or private knowledge (patents). Using data collected by the National Research Council within the US National Academies from their survey of firm’s that received National Institutes of Health phase II Small Business Innovation Research awards between 1992 and 2001, we find that entrepreneurs with academic backgrounds are more likely to publish their intellectual capital compared with entrepreneurs with business backgrounds, who are more likely to patent their intellectual capital. We also find that, when universities are research partners, their presence complements the tendencies of academic entrepreneurs but does not offset those of business entrepreneurs.


Intellectual capital Publications Patents University research partners 

JEL Classifications

O31 M14 L26 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA

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