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Fueling the Entrepreneurial Fire: Identifying and Cultivating Future Business Creators

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: July 19, 2012

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“Entrepreneurial ecosystem” has become a favorite phrase among those looking to build strong commercialization programs based on university research – and for good reason. This ecosystem – characterized by strong outreach to inventors, strong support services for entrepreneurial faculty and students, and strong links to outside resources, programs, partnerships, and funding – is typically the most advanced at universities with the best record of tech transfer achievement. In short, this integrated system of support and resources is lighting the fire of entrepreneurship on a growing number of campuses, where record numbers of faculty and students are developing new technologies, creating venture funds, commercializing once-dormant IP, and leading new spinoffs out of the starting gate.

Putting all the pieces of this ecosystem together successfully – starting with tapping into the budding business builders on your campus – is no easy task. But for tech transfer offices that have done it, the rewards are not only significant but long-lasting, as the integrated parts of the system create a high-functioning whole that feeds on success and grows exponentially, resulting in more deals, more start-ups, and more economic benefits for the region and all the system’s stakeholders.

To help you achieve that same success, Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has secured three top experts to guide you, sharing their proven strategies and tactics for engaging with innovators, creating multi-faceted, high-energy environments, and offering a menu of resources that support and nurture entrepreneurship. Join us for a how-to program that’s sure to enhance your efforts to more effectively tap into your faculty and student body’s talent, creativity, and “innovation energy”:

Fueling the Entrepreneurial Fire:
Identifying and Cultivating Future Business Creators

 Here’s what your panel of expert presenters will cover:

  • People
    • Policy and  structure variations for students vs faculty
    • High-profile engagement opportunities: clubs, business plan competitions, inventor contests
    • Using outreach methods that build and maintain interest and involvement 
  • Resources
    • Alumni groups
    • Technology Transfer Office
    • Opportunities for real-world entrepreneurship: assessing and developing university IP
  • Effective use of and integration with university resources, including:
    • Business schools
    • Marketing and engineering departments
    • Medical schools
    • Incubators, labs and more…
  • On-Campus Opportunities
    • Competitions
    • Grant programs
    • Internships/Fellowships
    • Curriculum development in entrepreneurship
  • Beyond campus:
    • Connecting to the community for sources of capital, support services, externships, etc.

Your Expert Presenters:

John Morris is the President and CEO of Technology 2020 (University of Tennessee) which focuses on the development of entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Tennessee Valley Corridor. Mr. Morris has been instrumental in forming five technology commercialization ventures, utilizing technology from five different disciplines. Mr. Morris’s first small business experience was with Consultec Scientific, Inc., a Knoxville-based startup focused on technology transfer and commercialization. Eventually becoming President and CEO, he led the effort to start three companies from Consultec. One of the companies, NetLearning, Inc., is an Internet-based e-Learning company focused on the healthcare market. Under his leadership as President and CEO, NetLearning grew from an idea to serving 500 hospitals nationwide in seven years. Thomson Corporation acquired it in 2004. Mr. Morris also served as President and CEO of Sunlight Direct, an alternative energy start-up with licensed technology from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Joshua Schuler is executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, a non-profit organization within MIT’s School of Engineering. In that position he focuses on advancing strategic goals that support the program’s mission to recognize outstanding inventors, encourage sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enable and inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. He has been responsible for managing the daily operations of this educational initiative since he began this position in July 2007. From August 2003 to July 2007, Schuler held the post of InvenTeams grants officer, a supervisory position for the Lemelson-MIT Program’s national initiative to inspire a new generation of inventors by awarding high school teams grants of up to $10,000 each to develop an invention. Through Schuler’s vision, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, InvenTeams evolved from a pilot that served three New England teams to a prototype for hands-on problem solving that funded grants for as many as 20 schools from Alaska to New Mexico to Florida. Schuler also established continuation grants as a means for former grantees to sustain inventive communities through the experiential learning of InvenTeams.  

Marc Sedam, Executive Director in the University of New Hampshire Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization, has an extensive background in intellectual asset management, licensing, and start-up formation. He currently serves as the head of the University of New Hampshire’s technology transfer office and concurrently serves as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center, New Hampshire’s only translational research funding program. Prior to UNH, Marc was the Chief Operating Officer of Qualyst, a UNC-Chapel Hill spinout which studies the impact of drug transporters on the safety and efficacy of drugs. Marc was also the Associate Director-Life Sciences for The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s technology transfer office where he helped UNC become the top single university in start-up formation in 2001. He is a frequent speaker on issues relating to intellectual asset management and university start-up formation.

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