Purpose: This paper aims to propose an integrated methodology for evaluating academic spin-offs (ASOs) for supporting both the development phase and performance evaluation. The ASOs have peculiar characteristics compared to other start-up companies and the debate on their evaluation is still open. Design/methodology/approach: The proposed methodology, adopting a lean approach, faces the typical problems that characterize the growth of an ASO: the excessive attention to the technological aspects with respect to the commercial and managerial ones; and the need for evaluation systems that try to evaluate all risk areas and to highlight any misalignment. The methodology was built also starting from the results of an Erasmus + research project, co-funded by the European Commission, called spin-off lean acceleration. Findings: The methodology proposes to monitor the main risk areas (market, technological, implementation, governance and financial). For each of these areas, at first, a framework and a checklist are proposed for supporting the qualitative assessment of the potential of each areas. In the second part, a set of metrics for monitoring the performances and to understand if the spinoff is developing in the right direction is proposed. Moreover, the methodology was applied to the spin-offs at the University of Calabria (Italy), and the paper reports the first results obtained. Originality/value: A new canvas model (lean acceleration canvas), more specific and suited to the context of ASOs, was developed and tested. A lean approach has been adopted also for understanding the weakness of traditional methods. The proposed methodology could be used by the technology transfer offices in their institutional activity of supporting ASOs.
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