Uncle Sam to university inventors: School is in session
[The Kauffman Foundation] found that post-docs with entrepreneurial training served as critical bridges between the university and the businesses that were interested in licensing university technologies.
From Vivek Wadhwa of Washington Post:
“The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced at the end of July that it is setting up a public–private partnership to turn the most promising breakthroughs from its funding portfolio into successful start-ups. The partnership, called Innovation Corps (I-Corps), will teach participants the basics of entrepreneurship, connect them with mentors, and provide $50,000 in seed funding. This is essentially a Silicon Valley-style incubator for scientists and engineers.
If past is prologue, the vast majority of the start-ups to emerge from this program will fail. Even venture capitalists only claim to have a one-in-ten batting average. The government can’t possibly do better. But I am optimistic that I-Corps will be a game changer. In the long term, it will likely produce returns that are orders of magnitude greater than the $5 million per year that will be spent. That’s because it addresses one of the core problems of the university research system, narrowing the gap between science and innovation…”