In the 80s and 90s the accelerated development of technology caused several changes in most sciences, even in the field of business formations. The classical value chain transformed, the university science centres obtained a bigger focus and the role of research organisations is getting more and more important. New business form emerged and became popular: the academic spin-off firm. However, the spin-off companies are well-known and widely used ventures in the corporate business for a long time, especially at technology-oriented industries. For the time being, there is plenty of literature and completed surveys available regarding both academic and corporate spin-off. Some of them are engaged to reveal the critical success factors of spin-off companies and several models were created. The hypothetical question of this study whether common success factors do exist for both types of spin-off even if they are established in quite different environments. Using the relevant international literature and available public data of academic and corporate spin-off firms, six aspects were investigated: 'Raison d' etre', management, investment, networking, location and relation to intellectual property. As a result of this study, common success factors of spin-off companies having different origins could be identified.