What do Stanford, Univ. Alabama, Arizona State, and Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have in common? They’re all in non-metropolitan areas. And that’s the focus of the conference I presented at this week. Hosted by UIDP and the University of Arkansas, this university-industry engagement workshop brought together a diverse collection of higher education institutions from outside major metropolitan areas. These universities face common as well as unique challenges.
I was recently chatting with folks in the technology transfer office (TTO) at the University of Vermont (UVM). They asked Fuentek to help again this year with evaluating proposals for the SPARK-VT gap funding program. SPARK-VT is designed “to address the challenges of translating novel research into the community” by funding additional research and commercialization. Last year, Fuentek was asked to help evaluate proposals.
In providing technology transfer services to R&D organizations, Fuentek has developed strategies for maximizing team strengths and skills, solving organizational pickles, and communicating value to leadership. Today’s post can help significantly improve your capabilities and operations. For example, when it comes to understanding how your IP management team is performing, metrics are your greatest ally. They help you get where you want to go by accurately revealing where you are.
An interesting article in Harvard Business Review caught my attention… mostly because its message sounded very familiar. In the article, entrepreneurship ecosystems pioneer Daniel Isenberg asks an important question: Do Startups Really Create Lots of Good Jobs? He suggests that the startups-create-jobs idea has experienced “the truth effect,” gaining legitimacy and becoming accepted as fact when the reality is far different:
Today 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…
Last 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….
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.”
Since 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:…
Welcome to the latest post in our “Metrics Monday” series. Today, I’m going to talk about some important metrics that most TTOs don’t track… but should. Why these metrics? Because these three metrics indicate whether your TTO is on the right path to achieving higher targets for your university’s government funding and industry sponsored research agreements (SRAs). And these targets will have a much bigger impact on the local economy than most startups will because they lead to hiring more staff that are high-salary jobs.
Several months ago, a read an article called “Are Universities Creating Too Many Biotech Startups?” At the time I thought: The question is not how many startups should a university do, but why are they doing them? Since then, I’ve seen more and more stories in the industry news about universities focusing heavily on startups, particularly within the context of job creation and helping the local economy. Not surprisingly, some of these efforts are emerging from state government and/or economic development agencies. I myself have been invited to participate on several panels and task forces related to this topic. Their recurring mantra has been: “We want to increase startups and licensing revenue.” My response always is:…