External technology commercialization (ETC) is one strategy firms use in order to appropriate value from innovation. In view of the complexities associated with managing partner relationships, firms are likely to draw on their prior alliance experience when considering ETC strategies. Applying an organisational capabilities perspective, we investigate the extent to which prior alliance experience shapes a firm’s propensity to engage in external commercialisation. Because the motivations and risks of ETC vary across industries, we further consider how industry effects may influence this relationship. Our study examines the ETC initiatives of 1,642 firms in the US manufacturing sector between 1990 and 2006. The results suggest a curvilinear relationship between alliance experience and ETC. We also find that this relationship is moderated by the nature of the industry appropriability regime, rate of technological change, and competitive intensity.