Based on information from a large sample of German researchers and using business ownership and nascent entrepreneurship as alternative indicators of academic entrepreneurship, we use mediation analysis to analyze the direct effects of researchers' entrepreneurship attitudes, age, gender, and citizenship as well as the related indirect influences. Industrial cooperation, industry consulting, and patenting are used as alternative mediator variables. Focusing first on the overall drivers of academic entrepreneurship, the results show differences in the drivers of business ownership and nascent entrepreneurship. With regard to age, we find positive and significant indirect effects; they are negative for females; and positive for German citizens. The identification of direct and indirect channels of influence on academic entrepreneurship is the main contribution of this work.