Purpose: This paper aims to understand, in the state of São Paulo academic environment, the differences between the profiles of academic entrepreneurs, nonacademic entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach: The authors collected data from a more comprehensive research, whose objective was to evaluate the scholarship programmes of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). For data collection, the authors used an online questionnaire, pre-filled with information from the Lattes Curriculum of the sample individuals, as well as information obtained from FAPESP and from coordination for the improvement of higher education personnel. The response rate of the questionnaires was 21 per cent. The authors sought to explore the variables regarding entrepreneurial activities carried out by former scholarship holders, by relating them to other key variables identified in the literature review and explained in the hypotheses. Findings: The results indicate that entrepreneurship rates decrease with the higher academic level of the researcher; in general, academic entrepreneurs come from families with a good financial situation, and applied sciences are the areas of knowledge with more entrepreneurs. Originality/value: Despite the great number of theoretical and empirical studies found in the literature on entrepreneurship and academic entrepreneurship, there is still a shortage of practical studies on this latter topic in Brazil. This gap is even more evident when the authors consider the significant growth of entrepreneurial activity in the country in the past years. This paper contributes to fill this gap, and it aims to understand, in the state of São Paulo academic environment, the differences between the profiles of academic entrepreneurs, nonacademic entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs.
University Spin-offs Academic entrepreneurship Entrepreneurial profile Entrepreneurial activity Technological entrepreneurship