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NUCo

iP2Biz or IP Broker

by Bill Weber

For people deeply versed in the way innovation actually works (or doesn’t work) in a big company, the value iP2Biz brings to the table is immediately apparent.  But most executives are not innovation specialists, and our first meeting with a potential client often involves this question: “We have some really cool technology, can you help us sell it?” Continue reading “iP2Biz or IP Broker” »

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Add to Dictionary: NUCos (Near-University Companies)

Startups and entrepreneurs have irresistible airs of excitement. The very idea of a young company is thrilling. The possibility of breakthrough innovation that creates new markets is exhilarating. However, not all ideas can be adapted for commercialization immediately. How can risk be reduced while encouraging the continual generation of innovative technology primed for investment? A near-university company (NUCo) is an emerging type of startup that is staffed with former or current university researchers. Promising university research often lends itself to further development by the formation of a new company that aims to commercialize discoveries made in the laboratory. In this “incubator” model, early stage research is performed within the financially sound environment of a major research university. With insight and investment from innovation capitalists or angel investment groups tied to early stage feasibility goals, Ph.D. level principal investigators (PIs) realize the commercial potential of their work sooner. Eager to earn revenue, universities then provide licensing avenues for the commercialization of university-owned intellectual property that was developed by PIs. New technology ventures can either be formed or the technology may be acquire by larger mainstream corporations with lower risk due to this early stage qualification process. Universities are vast, yet untapped sources of breakthrough innovation which the NUCo business model takes advantage of. Talented PIs whose projects are funded by taxpayer money produce inventions that non-academics would never see if it were not for an early stage commercialization process.

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An Old Joke…

… asks what one gets if an Incubator is combined with an Accelerator.

The answer is …. an Incinerator!

Apparently, the Kauffman Foundation has research which indicates that – aside from social media and cloud focused operations like Y Combinator – it’s not a joke.

Now, there are certainly well managed, productive operations like Georgia Tech’s Venture Lab and ATDC, but the report above is clear that random, supply-side driven operations which just hope for the best don’t produce wealth.

This is entirely consistent with our experience.

Where exciting things happen around early stage technology companies is almost always when a corporation finds a way to connect with a NuCo (Near-university Company) and to conduct a dialogue around how the NuCo’s technology can be effectively harnessed by that corporation. It’s a demand-driven fast path to commercialization of that technology which has big benefits for all parties!

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Lean Launchpad

Now here’s a step in the right direction. Imagine that … discovering customers’ views early in the startup process! This is a well architected program. Congratulations to NSF for this important new program.

IP2Biz sees dozens of these technology-driven NuCos (Near-university Companies) every quarter, and we know that they represent billions of dollars of potential value … if only demand could be verified and captured.

That’s what we do.

Stanford 2012 Lean LaunchPad Presentations

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