Case study data on new university derived spin-off medical technology companies have been analysed using analytical processes based on actor-network theory (ANT), which introduces two new constructs to entrepreneurship research: first, network actants can include not just people but also non-personal identities such as documents and events, and secondly, these actants, whether personal or non-personal, are defined ontologically by their relationships. The paper explores the possibility of using the extended network concepts involved in ANT to develop a holistic approach to the study of the early stage development of NTSFs. This is seen as a logical development from Latour's initial focus on community impacts of new science to study of the way in which new technologies can be exploited through the generation of entrepreneurial spinoff ventures. The output of this ANT analysis has been first, a holistic graphical depiction of the actants and their relationships and how they vary between spin-off company cases from the same parent research provider. Secondly, the more detailed analysis of the actant relationships, based on the case study qualitative research data, has added to the understanding of the development of the selected spin-off ventures.
Proceedings of Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2006: 3rd International Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Auckland, New Zealand, 08-10 February 2006,