Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U Michigan breaks start-up launch record despite pandemic


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 16th, 2020

The University of Michigan (U-M) spun out a record 31 start-ups in fiscal year 2020, in the face of a pandemic that forced many of its labs to shut down for half of that period.

The number is a 40% increase from the previous fiscal year and reflects an overall increase in commercialization activity, including a rise in new inventions and licensing agreements.

“As the nation’s leading public research university, we have an obligation to ensure that our research discoveries are translated from the lab to the marketplace in ways that positively benefit society,” says Rebecca Cunningham, U-M vice president for research. “The challenges presented by COVID-19 have elevated our sense of urgency and responsibility to ensure that our research leads to improved health care outcomes, enhanced quality of life and new opportunities for economic growth.”

The 31 start-ups raised $237 million during the fiscal year, and the TTO brought in $14.5 million in revenues from licensing.

“The launch of 31 new start-up companies last fiscal year is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the university’s growing innovation ecosystem,” says Kelly Sexton, U-M associate vice president for research-technology transfer and innovation partnerships. “This record-breaking growth in start-up formation is important in 2020 because these new companies will be meaningful contributors to the growth and diversification of our state’s economy as we work to rebound from the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Source: Michigan News

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