Shark_iStock_000054215058Today you get a sneak peek at a webinar I’ll be moderating next Tuesday, July 21st to teach technology transfer offices (TTOs) how to coach researchers on speaking with potential collaborators, funders, licensees, and others. These skills also apply when the innovator is launching a startup and talking to venture capitalists (VCs)… even those featured on Shark Tank. Called “Best Practices for Coaching Researchers on Pitching to Investors, Licensees, and Partners,” this Technology Transfer Tactics webinar will focus on… Continue reading

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red-reboot_iStock_000050491100_lowrezI’ve blogged before about technology transfer offices (TTOs) that are entering a new phase of life. Today I’d like to share Fuentek’s recommendations for the top of your To-Do List for rebooting a TTO. These are based both on what we’ve done for our clients and on my personal experience in the trenches at the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at the University of Texas at Dallas. Continue reading

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Schoppe-UNH-Interview-ScreenShotLast month I had the opportunity to serve on a panel discussing the implementation of open innovation models in developing countries at the Franklin Pierce IP Center based in the law school at the University of New Hampshire. Titled “IP and Open Innovation: Challenges in Global Development,” this conference brought together a wide range of professionals, professors, and researchers with expertise in open innovation. (Thanks to Stan Kowalski for inviting me!) For my presentation, I discussed how developing economies would be well served by approaching their R&D and IP management through what we at Fuentek call Symbiotic Innovation. As I’ve blogged before, Symbiotic Innovation involves working both sides of the R&D and commercialization equation at the same time…. Continue reading

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Green TreeWhen it comes to managing the innovation and intellectual property portfolio, technology transfer offices need to be able to see the forest and the trees. TTOs have to evaluate each innovation individually, but they also need to consider its strategic value relative to other IP in the portfolio. Therefore, periodically examining the technologies as a collective — whether it is the entire IP portfolio or just a specific selection of innovations — should be part of the TTO’s itinerary. Of course, “periodically” has two meanings: (1) at regular intervals of time and (2) from time to time. So when is the right time to do a whole/partial IP portfolio review? Here’s my advice. Continue reading

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As I find myself back in Poland to deliver another round of training courses on entrepreneurship to university researchers, I’m reminded of Steve Blank’s fireside chat at the AUTM® national meeting in New Orleans last month. Specifically, I’m thinking about how the feedback loop that plays a major role in the Lean Startup methodology also has a role to play long before a startup is even a gleam in an entrepreneurial researcher’s eye. What’s the Lean Startup feedback loop? Well, according to Eric Ries: “The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.” Continue reading

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DiversityInSTEM-LeakyPipelineYesterday Fuentek’s Laura Schoppe participated in a forum sponsored by Honda Jet in Greensboro, N.C., where the focus was on increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. During the panel, Laura presented her concept of a pipeline that is feeding the STEM workforce and the need to address the leaks in it. As shown in the graphic below, the pipeline has four phases: Engage (primary school), Recruit (secondary school), Retain (university), and Sustain (career). Each of these phases needs attention. Happily, Fuentek knows firsthand that there are many examples of great programs happening all along the pipeline. Continue reading

Posted in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) | 2 Comments

SpringForwardClock_iStock_000026185332_Small-croppedNow that we’ve sprung forward into Daylight Savings Time, it is also time for university technology transfer offices (TTOs) to spring ahead with their summer internship programs. March is usually the month when TTOs issue their “Apply Now” announcements for summer interns. But all is not lost for TTOs who are just getting started. Although there are significant advantages when you begin planning a new summer internship program the previous fall, March is not too late to start. For example, it was last spring when a university TTO asked Fuentek for help with establishing their internship program. They wanted to start that coming summer, so we jumped in to help them, using the tricks that we have learned over our long history of establishing effective internship programs… Continue reading

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Fuentek-TTO-process-thumnail-300pxAt one time or another, most technology transfer offices (TTOs) — particularly at universities, government labs, and other non-corporate entities — are asked why discoveries aren’t getting into the marketplace faster. Or more frequently. Or both. Whether this question comes from innovators, administrators, or legislators, TTOs say they struggle to answer it clearly and succinctly. Explaining the complexities of technology transfer is not easy, yet it is easy to sound defensive. Over time, we at Fuentek heard from so many tech transfer professionals about this being a challenge that we decided to do something to help them with this explanation. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we developed an infographic that lays out a representative path from innovation to product launch. Entitled “The Road to Technology Transfer,” the infographic moves from… Continue reading

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McCrory_2015-01-16Since last summer, I’ve had the privilege to serve on North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s Innovation-to-Jobs (I2J) Working Group, whose recommendations were released by the governor 2 weeks ago. I share this with you today because (a) I’m proud of the hard work the group did and (b) our process and approach to developing an implementation plan might serve as a model for others seeking to extract more value from their state’s university R&D. The goal of the Innovation-to-Jobs Working Group was:… Continue reading

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Questionnaire conceptAs I discussed in early December, I’ve been curious about the experiences of those starting (or restarting) their TTO. So we created a short survey and invited the tech transfer community to use it to share their experiences. Two dozen folks responded — not bad considering it is a niche question– and today I’m sharing these responses along with some of my insights and experiences. Continue reading

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