The extent and background of establishing international knowledge relations among young academic spin-off firms are explored in this paper. Drawing on survey data of 100 of such firms, the influence of human capital and social networks of these firms is examined, alongside their innovation level. International learning is measured in two ways, adoption of the strategy and spatial reach related to this adoption namely, from Europe to worldwide. The paper fits into a stream of research in which it is recognized that new technology-based firms interact both in local knowledge networks and knowledge networks abroad to remain competitive. A majority of the spin-off firms were found to be engaged in international networks and the most powerful influences tended to be the presence of PhD experience and size of the starting team. Social capital released through social networks is a relatively strong influence only in the spatial reach of knowledge relations, supporting the idea that strong social networks form a solid base from which global learning can be undertaken. The implications of the results of this work and future research steps are discussed.