Want to pack a room? Talk about gap funding at the Eastern Region Meeting (ERM) of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM®). Recently I had the pleasure of moderating the “Found in Translation: Making the Most of Gap Funding” session at AUTM-ERM with four panelists: Richard Chylla of Michigan State University, Corine Farewell of the University of Vermont (UVM), Marc Sedam of the University of New Hampshire, and Todd Sherer of Emory University. In sharing their experience and insights, these panelists represented a diversity of perspectives…
Lots of best practices for technology transfer offices (TTOs) also apply to startups. To leverage that insight, I recently spoke with entrepreneurs in New Hampshire about how to get great feedback from prospective customers when getting a startup off the ground, offering a new product (or service), or breaking into a new market. Similarly, in the tech transfer world, licensing success can be optimized by obtaining robust and comprehensive market feedback through expert interviews. This feedback will inform your strategy for approaching the market as you ramp up to marketing a technology for licensing. For example,…
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the similarities between gardening and managing a portfolio of intellectual property (IP). If you have seen our Cultivating Your IP infographic, this comparison isn’t surprising. But the connection is worth considering. Periodically reviewing the IP portfolio is an essential part of tending to the technologies effectively. Today I’m discussing the approach to and process of reviewing the IP portfolio. Prioritize the Backlog: What’s Dead, What’s Ready to Plant? Having worked with dozens of technology transfer offices (TTOs), Fuentek knows it’s easy for invention disclosures to pile up like plants in a greenhouse waiting to be put in the garden.
Technology Transfer Tactics ran an in-depth article on best practices for handling departing faculty researchers, post-docs, visiting researchers, and the like. As one of the sources quoted, I was pleased to see the thorough treatment this topic received, because bad things can happen if you don’t stay in front of intellectual property (IP) issues when it comes to transitioning faculty…. There was a lot of great advice in the article. Here’s my take on a few key recommendations.
Most technology transfer offices (TTOs) want to — or have to — respond to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the technology portfolio. Whether they are routine or ad hoc, these FAQs often come from key stakeholders and focus on TTO performance. As the F in FAQ suggests, these questions are asked frequently. Yet if a TTO frequently is scrambling to answer and struggles to generate the needed reports, then this indicates something is amiss.
I’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.
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.”
As 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.
Having first-hand experience with starting up a brand new technology transfer office (TTO), I have watched with great interest as universities and other institutions have formed (and reformed) their TTOs. In the past few years, it seems that new TTOs have been popping up like wildflowers. (Can you tell I’m a gardener?) And reorganizations of already-established TTOs are just as commonplace. This flurry of activity is not surprising given the increased focus on tech transfer in the media and policy discussions both on the national stage and at the state level. Yet little has been written about the experiences of those establishing new (or renewed) TTOs. So we are conducting a short survey (
Today brings us to my final Metrics Monday post on metrics for new — or newly reorganized — technology transfer offices (TTOs). Today’s focus is on how you are doing on those all-important final steps to commercialization: marketing and licensing. The TTO at virtually any university, non-profit, or government R&D lab is striving to maximize the benefits of the institution’s research to the public. This overarching, long-term goal is coupled with maximizing the “return” to the institution and perhaps the larger community. Of course, the metrics used to calculate that return can…