Spin-off firms originate from several sources such as universities, existing firms, and government research centers. Thus far, work on spin-off activity has focused on factors that influence the creation and performance of corporate spin-offs, with recent attention on those from universities. Government laboratory and research center spin-offs have largely been overlooked. Thus, little is known about the comparative success of the different spin-off types. Using a database of all nanotechnology firms founded between 1981 and 2001, this study examines firm cessation, liquidation, bankruptcy, acquisition, and initial public offering of academic, government, and corporate spin-offs and de novo start-ups. The data show that lineage does influence outcomes; however, each type of firm origin has different provocative distinctions. Implications for technology transfer and entrepreneurship are discussed.