Tech Transfer Central
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University Start-Up Best Practices: Building a Foundation for Survival and a Path to Profits

Format: MP3, CD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: April 16, 2009

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Help your university’s start-ups reach their maximum potential

For tech transfer veterans, the job today doesn’t much resemble your role of just a few short years ago. What was once a focus on licensing to outside corporations has become more multi-faceted. Launching, incubating, building, and ultimately monetizing your own start-up businesses is now a central component of TTO activity — and a key challenge.

Start-ups are certainly exciting to be involved with, and hold tremendous potential for financial returns. But if they’re not handled with care and business savvy, they can also be a drain on you, your staff, your TTO’s resources, and a major thorn in your side that end up diverting you from other opportunities, damaging important faculty relationships, and dragging you and your office down with them. And since most tech transfer professionals are not MBAs or experienced entrepreneurs who’ve built and sold businesses themselves, start-ups present a particularly daunting challenge that requires skills and know-how you’ve often got to learn on the fly.

That’s why we’ve recruited two university start-up experts to share their keys to start-up success — and reveal their key mistakes and lessons learned. If start-ups are a part of your responsibilities, you will not want to miss this practical, strategy-packed audioconference:

University Start-Up Best Practices:
Building a Foundation for Survival and a Path to Profits

Join us for this 90-minute program, featuring Rajiv Kulkarni from the University of Utah (ranked #2 in start-up creation) and Gerard Eldering of InnovateTech Ventures (specializing in university venture creation). They’ll provide you with the detailed guidance and advice you need to pilot your start-ups beyond survival — to rapid growth, and ultimately to a liquidity event that will make your administration stand up and cheer. They’ll cover:

  • Start-up licenses: do’s and dont’s
  • Identifying local resources to support your start-up
  • Handling “vanity” start-ups
  • Options for faculty involvement
  • Obtaining critical funding even in the current economic climate
  • Metrics to gauge success — and predict failure
  • Business planning
  • Recruiting and retaining top management talent
  • Creating a start-up culture
  • The best and worst business models
  • Incubation and support strategies
  • Structuring equity deals
  • Exit strategies
  • And much more!

Your Expert Presenters

Rajiv Kulkarni, PhD, MBA is Associate Director at the Technology Commercialization Office of the University of Utah, where he manages a large portfolio of invention disclosures, patents and license agreements in the physical sciences, including engineering, computer science and software, material science and medical devices, as well as gene and drug delivery. Previously he was Assistant Director and then Director of the Office of Technology Development for the State of Utah, where he managed the Centers of Excellence Program. The program funded proposals for commercialization of University technologies to stimulate economic development in Utah, which included strategic business planning for starting new companies. His industry experience with a start-up biotechnology company includes R & D, operations, marketing, business development and management and attracting VC funding. As Vice President for an agricultural biotechnology company, he managed the global market & business development effort.

Gerard Eldering is Founder and President of InnovateTech Ventures, specializing in venture creation based on inventions licensed from universities and research institutions. Since the company’s founding in 2007, InnovateTech has supported numerous mid-Atlantic universities and co-founded three start-up companies including AlphaDetect and Trilumen. Gerard has been working in the technology transfer community for more than a decade and is passionate about the creation of professionally managed and funded start-up companies. Prior to launching InnovateTech, he founded and served as Director of the Technology Transfer Office at The MITRE Corporation. He is an MBA and a registered patent agent.

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