As more and more start-ups arise from university innovations, securing A-level leadership for these fledgling companies has become both more critical and more difficult, particularly given the meager compensation available in the early days of a new venture. Too many academic start-ups have ultimately failed or stalled because a dearth of available leadership talent led TTOs to “plug in” a CEO who lacked experience or did not possess the right skills and background.
The problem is even more acute for university start-ups, since the CEO must mesh with the faculty inventor as well as the campus culture – an environment that some business pros find difficult and frustrating. In short, it takes a special individual to successfully lead a university start-up: someone who’s passionate about the technology, can work collegially with faculty “stars,” has a get-it-done work ethic, can focus on long-term value rather than short-term compensation, and has an eye always focused on the upward trajectory of the company.
Let’s face it – it’s a tall order. And even when you think you’ve found “the one,” the compensation package offered can make or break the deal.
That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics has created this one hour program that offers specific and practical guidance from three experts on how to attract high quality CEOs for university start-ups, and how to reward them without damaging the start-up’s typically fragile cash position.
Securing Senior Level Talent for University Start-Ups and How to Best Structure CEO Compensation
Please join our experienced team of TTO leaders – who’ve filled dozens of start-up CEO positions and learned critical lessons along the way in effective recruitment and compensation strategies. They are ready to share their experience, guidance, and specific recommendations regarding:
- What attracts top talent to start-up businesses and how can your university tap into outstanding CEOs-in-waiting?
- Proven strategies used to find leadership talent through:
- alumni networks
- CEO-in-residence programs
- Students and recent graduates
- other feeder-type programs
- The laws of attraction for CEOs, including:
- Milestone expectations and incentives
- Corporate governance and level of authority
- Investment terms
- Salary (or no salary)
- Perks, bonuses, and exit terms
- How corporate structure may dictate terms and conditions:
- Inventor equity, university equity, and CEO equity
- Co-founder status
- CEO as a partner
- Pros and cons of each structure
- Case studies reveal issues, obstacles, expectations, and lessons learned
- Qualifications, personality traits, interpersonal dynamic, and characteristics to look for
PLUS! We’ll provide real-world examples of management engagement terms and compensation packages
Meet Your Faculty:
Heather A. Steinman, PhD, Senior Associate Director of Licensing and Senior Advisor to UPstart, Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Steinman’s responsibilities include scouting for commercializable discoveries, invention assessment, IP portfolio management, marketing, and technology commercialization activities including strategic partnering, licensing, and UPstart company formation. Prior to joining UPenn, she spent ten years as a technology commercialization professional in the University of Massachusetts Medical School Office of Technology Management.
Michael D. Poisel, MBA, Program Director of the UPstart program, Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Poisel is responsible for managing UPstart for the University of Pennsylvania. The mission of UPstart is to provide UPenn faculty and staff with the means and support to launch companies based on their promising research. Through the creation of companies, UPstart focuses the faculty member on applied research and building the commercial value of the technology to their benefit as well as the university and society in general. Prior to UPenn, Michael made investments in enterprise software and business services for NewSpring Capital, Apax Partners and GE Capital spanning more than ten years in private equity. Michael has an M.B.A. in finance and entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Gerard Eldering, Founder and President, InnovateTech Ventures; President of Technology, Patents and Licensing, Inc. (TPL). Mr. Eldering is an experienced entrepreneur and a nationally recognized authority on technology transfer venture creation. At InnovateTech Ventures, Gerard introduced a novel technology transfer venture creation model called the Entrepreneur Match program. The program matches serial entrepreneurs with promising university technologies resulting in the creation of high potential start-up companies. InnovateTech has provided the service to more than a dozen universities resulting in the formation of seven start-up companies to date. Prior to founding InnovateTech, he founded and served as Director of the Technology Transfer Office at The MITRE Corporation. During his eight year tenure in the MITRE TTO, he completed more than 150 licenses and facilitated the creation of four start-ups. Gerard is dedicated to enabling more effective commercialization of university inventions through the creation of professionally managed and funded start-up companies.