Tech Transfer eNews Blog

West Virginia U launches Vantage Ventures for technology start-ups

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 9th, 2019

A new start-up support program that combines features of incubators and accelerators has launched at West Virginia University (WVU) to support the commercialization of university research.

Vantage Ventures is a multidisciplinary program for teams that are forming companies around WVU intellectual property. The program aims to leverage the university’s untapped pools of science, technology, engineering and business talent, helping them find customers, attract investment and scale up production.

WVU president E. Gordon Gee says Vantage Ventures will help the university change how the state and other universities think when it comes to jobs and economic growth. “We can’t think through the rearview mirror anymore. We are training people for obsolescence right now,” says Gee. “We have to turn partnership into action, and that’s what we’re doing today.”

According to Vantage Ventures director Erienne Olesh, the incubator will complement other tech commercialization initiatives at WVU such as the Launch Lab program run by the Office of Technology Transfer.

“For example, we’re working with a couple of students who are undergraduates in engineering; their company is called Iconic Air,” says Olesh. “They went through the Launch Lab program, and once they finished up refining their business model, they’re working with us. We’re helping them find customers.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) welcomes Vantage Ventures, and other programs like it, as a sign of positive change at research universities. “You used to learn so you could earn,” says Manchin, “but now you can earn and learn at the same time.”

Source: The Morgantown News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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