Success breeds success… and that’s been proven at Washington State University through a peer-to-peer mentoring program called Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors (EFA). These faculty ambassadors are located throughout the university representing a diverse array of departments and schools. The ambassadors, who’ve already successfully navigated the commercialization process and worked with the TTO, serve as an early resource for other researchers who aren’t familiar with the tech transfer or start-ups processes, and also represent a vital link between inventive faculty and the tech transfer staff.
It all started when WSU saw a doubling of their disclosures and an impressive six-fold increase in the active number of licenses, while more than doubling the annual number of start-ups. To continue that momentum and expand even further, the TTO created the EFA program as a means of reaching out to early career faculty, educate them about commercialization opportunities and processes, and provide mentorship along the way. The program has led to an influx of interest among faculty, and new collaborations with the TTO in high value areas.
Due to the overwhelming support and success of the Ambassadors program, Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has partnered with Anson Fatland, associate vice president for economic development at WSU, and director of business development Brian Kraft, to present this inspiring and action-oriented webinar:
Expand Outreach and Boost Your TTO’s Disclosures by Implementing a Faculty Ambassador Program
Here’s a brief look at the agenda for this practical, how-to distance learning session:
- The birth of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors program
- Capitalizing on strategic opportunities when:
- Identifying faculty entrepreneurs
- Establishing program goals
- Evaluating faculty and administrative resources
- Recruitment strategies for involving local businesses, economic development officials, and thought leaders in the program
- Tips for performing a SWOT analysis to focus on program goals
- Criteria for recruiting faculty ambassadors
- Defining roles and responsibilities
- The TTO’s role in working with Ambassadors and translating their assistance into more disclosures and start-ups
- Expert advice for gaining momentum through PR, marketing, and events
Your Program Leaders:
Anson Fatland, PhD, is Associate Vice President for Economic Development at Washington State University. His background is as diverse as the office he leads. For more than a decade, Anson developed a set of skills that make him uniquely suited for this position – from earning a PhD in chemistry (WSU) and an MBA (University of California, Haas School of Business), to helping start life sciences and alternative energy companies, to supporting non-profits with grants and guidance.
With his varied expertise and Washington roots, Anson aims to maximize the economic impact of WSU in the region, state, and world. The office he oversees includes Foundation Relations, the Office of Commercialization and the Small Business Development Centers. Anson also serves on eight boards, including the CleanTech Alliance of Washington and the Composite Recycling and Technology Center based in Port Angeles, WA, and serves as treasurer for the Washington Global Health Alliance.
Brian Kraft is the Director of Business Development in the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University. Within this role he is tasked with the development and maturation of technology opportunities that emerge from research within the College and the implementation of training systems for students and faculty that focus on the commercial development of university research. Specific WSU programs Brian is running include the Scholarly Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership Development Program (SKILD), which aims to provide technical graduate students experience in technology opportunity assessment; the Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors (EFA) Program, which serves as a faculty networking group to disseminate best practices and connect experienced and aspirational faculty entrepreneurs; and the newly established WSU I-Corps site, which is a training program for technology entrepreneurship funded by NSF. Brian holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry, a PhD in Chemistry and has served Washington State University in roles ranging from technology evaluation to programmatic development over the last ten years.