Research Opportunities

Get involved to make an impact

PhD Position: Characteristics and Development of Austrian Start-up Companies

Posted By

The Austrian Institute of Technology in cooperation with the Vienna University of Technology offer the following PhD position:

Characteristics and Development of Austrian Start-up Companies


Start-up firms are of crucial importance for the economic development and structural change of the industry. In recent years Austria has established a number of measures to improve the startup ecosystem and promote the creation of high-tech ventures and academic spin-offs. Start-up firms are embedded in an institutional and regional context which defines the technological and market opportunity space to be exploited by new ventures. A supportive infrastructure at universities or innovative large companies serving as lead customer can stimulate the development of startup companies. However, there is little empirical knowledge about the dynamics and development of start-up firms in Austria. The aim of the dissertation is to identify the determinants for the creation of start-up companies and its long-term development.

Research Question

The dissertation should build upon theoretical work on startup ecosystems and new venture development and address amongst others the following research questions:

  • What are the determinants for the creation of start-up companies?
  • What are the drivers for the growth performance of the startup firms?
  • What is the scientific and technological specialisation of Austrian start-up companies?
  • What is the growth development of Austrian start-up companies compared to start-ups in other countries?


The dissertation should expand an existing database about start-up companies from the Austrian Institute of Technology (see and collect additional data about characteristics, funding structure and the performance of start-up companies. Amongst others data from patent databases and the commercial register should be used. For the international comparison data from the VICO database ( should be exploited. Multivariate statistical methods should be employed to test hypotheses about growth drivers and performance of Austrian start-up firms.


Bhave, M. P. (1994): A process model of entrepreneurial venture creation. Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 9, 223-242.

Bottazzi, L., Da Rin, M. (2005): Financing entrepreneurial firms in Europe: Facts, issues, and research agenda, In: V. Kanniainen, C. Keuschnigg (Eds.), Venture capital, entrepreneurship, and public policy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Mosey S. Wright M. (2007): From human capital to social capital: a longitudinal study of technology-based academic entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship in Theory and Practice, Vol. 31, Iss. 6, 909–935.

Shane S.A. (2004): Academic Entrepreneurship: University Spinoffs And Wealth Creation (New Horizons in Entrepreneurship Series), Cheltenham, UK and Northhampton, MA, USA, Edward Elgar.

Additional Information

For the work on the dissertation, a three-year contract (1500 Euro per month) will be awarded.

Start: Winter semester 2016/17

Information and contact:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Leitner

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology Innovation Systems Department

Mail: studentinnenprogramm/knowledge-talent-development-programme/

Leave a Reply