Tech Transfer Central

Create a Funding Ecosystem for University IP and Student and Faculty Startups: New Approaches to Crossing the Valley of Death

A Detailed Case Study of CU Boulder’s Innovative Funding Programs
Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: July 19, 2018

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Price: $197
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Almost every early-stage IP or start-up project formed within a university system experiences a lack of cash at one point or another. This funding gap – aka The Valley of Death — can derail the development of your IP or start-up to the point of starvation and failure. And while the traditional methods of funding such as angel investments and loans remain available, they may be hard to secure and require the business to incur debt or equity dilution that it may not be able to sustain.

At the University of Colorado at Boulder, there is a new wave of innovation and entrepreneurship afoot that has required some outside-the-box thinking to ensure student and faculty projects are given every chance to succeed. By way of microfunds, internal grants, proof of concept and pre-seed funds just to name a few of school’s many funding initiatives, CU Boulder is helping its faculty and student entrepreneurs survive the Valley of Death – where far too many end up largely because they couldn’t secure the dollars and other resources needed to gain traction and outside investment.

Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has secured a team of presenters from CU Boulder to present this detailed, case study webinar:

Create a Funding Ecosystem for University IP and Student and Faculty Startups: New Approaches to Crossing the Valley of Death

Please join Sarabeth Berk, PhD, and Brymor Rees for this eye-opening webinar that will discuss:

  • Details regarding CU Boulder funding programs such as:
    • Crowdfunding
    • Seed funding
    • Venture competitions and hackathons
    • Internal grant programs
  • Support structures that augment funding mechanisms:
    • Innovation action team
    • Co-curricular workshops, bootcamps, and commercialization academy
    • Mentors and community engagement
  • Proof of Concept funding
  • The evolution of the CU medical campus SPARK program
    • Origins
    • Strategy and Structure

Meet your presenters:

Sarabeth BerkSarabeth Berk, Ph.D.
Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
Research & Innovation Office
University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Sarabeth Berk is the Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative at CU Boulder, a cross-campus effort to bring more entrepreneurial thinking into university experiences for all. Sarabeth obtained her PhD in curriculum studies and instruction from the University of Denver, and has been focusing on innovation in K-12 and higher education throughout her career.  She considers herself to be an artist/researcher/teacher/designer and is known for her talents in design thinking.  When she isn’t transforming education, Sarabeth is a council member on the Denver County Cultural Council to support nonprofits across the region.

Brynmor ReesBrynmor Rees
Technology Transfer Office
University of Colorado Boulder

Bryn is the Director for the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) serving the CU Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses.  Together with his team, he works with faculty, students, and the extended innovation ecosystem to commercialize technologies coming out of CU research.  Identifying, evaluating, protecting, and partnering IP assets are among the core TTO activities Bryn oversees.  The TTO directly supports larger campus goals of innovation, positive societal impact, and faculty and student development.  Bryn has been with CU’s TTO since 2009 and was formerly Senior Officer with the technology transfer group at the University of British Columbia.  He began his career in research innovation in industry, where he managed disease genetics and pharmacogenetics research at a leading pharmaceutical company. 

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