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Rutgers University Creates Disruptive Innovation Fund to Commercialize University Technologies

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Our faculty and students continually create exciting technologies and innovations that have great potential in a wide range of markets, from software to pharmaceutical manufacturing, which is why we have established this fund…

From Rutgers:

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers has established a “Disruptive Innovation Fund” through an agreement signed this week with IP Navigation Group of Dallas, which has committed up to $1 million to support commercialization of technologies developed at the university.

“Our faculty and students continually create exciting technologies and innovations that have great potential in a wide range of markets, from software to pharmaceutical manufacturing, which is why we have established this fund,” said Michael Pazzani, vice president of research and economic development. “It’s the recognition of the ability of our faculty and students to solve the nation’s most important problems and bring these solutions to market that motivated IP Navigation Group to make this significant commitment.”

Erich Spangenberg, founder and chairman of IP Navigation Group, said: “Our firm believes that Rutgers is a leader in two important areas: talented faculty and students and an approach by the university’s leadership that facilitates the ability of this talent to flourish. That’s why we’re making this investment.”

Spangenberg says the intent is that the fund be “technology agnostic,” adding, “If it is a ‘big’ idea, we should not be limiting where the fund is deployed…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Rutgers Office of Technology Commercialization [web]
IP Navigation Group [web]

Can the U.S. Government “Out-Startup” Silicon Valley?

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Lean LaunchPad, Steve Blank, Stanford and the Nat’l Science Foundation Set Out to Prove They Can Starting Sunday, Oct. 9

From BusinessWire:

“One hundred of the best U.S. scientists and engineers are about to start one of the most exciting science experiments ever attempted — can you turn Rocket Scientists into startup founders? It might be called the U.S. Government versus tech incubators like Y-Combinator, as the National Science Foundation (NSF) creates a full-fledged incubator, complete with mentoring, for 100 teams of top engineers and scientists.

The National Science Foundation, which funds all non-medical science and engineering research in the U.S., is giving out 18,000 grants a year — with a $7 billion annual budget for innovation. This new Innovation-Corps program will infuse “startup” culture, training and mentoring for the best science and engineering funded by NSF–taking the best projects out of the science labs and universities to speed privatization and job creation, following the path of incubators like TechStars and Y-Combinator…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
NSF I-Corps Program [web]
I-Corps 1st Round of Awardees Announced [web]
Stanford Technology Ventures Program [web]
I-Corps introduction by Steve Blank [web]

How University of Michigan executives resolved their clash over startup investments

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

The analysis examined the performance of the university’s startups over the past 30 years — including the 104 spinoff companies launched by the U-M Technology Transfer Office over the last decade. U-M analyzed how the university’s endowment would have performed if it had invested in those startups at an early stage.

From AnnArbor.com:

“The University of Michigan’s decision to invest up to $25 million in its own startup companies offers a telling glimpse at how the university is balancing its investment pursuits with a stated desire to boost the economy.

The move also revealed a private debate in which U-M executives clashed over whether the university’s own spinoff companies were worthy of cash.

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman announced Wednesday morning that U-M’s $7.8 billion endowment would deliver up to $500,000 to every early-stage U-M startup that has already secured venture capital from an outside source.

It’s an admission that the university has missed out on past investment opportunities that would have helped its own startup companies expand — and earned the university’s endowment big financial returns…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
University of Michigan startups [web]
University of Michigan Announces Initiative to Invest Endowment $$ into Startups [web]

Purdue Restructures Processes and Incentives for Research Commercialization to Boost Economic Development

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

A key element is restructuring the processes and incentives for research commercialization with the additional benefit of boosting economic development in Indiana through the creation of new businesses and products.

From Purdue News:

“A new emphasis on extracting more economic value from sponsored research and intellectual property at Purdue University will help move more Purdue research to the marketplace faster and reduce the university’s reliance on tuition and tax dollars.

Purdue President France A. Córdova announced Wednesday (Sept. 28) a three–part Decadal Funding Plan that will increase sources of revenue beyond tuition and state appropriations – the traditional sources for public university funding – by doubling financial capacity through continued cost-cutting, expanding online degree and professional education offerings, encouraging more robust use of campus facilities through summer teaching, and ramping up research commercialization.

A key element is restructuring the processes and incentives for research commercialization with the additional benefit of boosting economic development in Indiana through the creation of new businesses and products. The effort also invests in more entrepreneurial education and support for faculty, students and businesses.

“We intend to leverage our most valuable resources, a first-class faculty and an amazing group of students, to materially improve our performance in creating and supporting entrepreneurs, commercialization of new science and technology, and industry-university collaborations,” Córdova said…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Purdue Research Park [web]
Discovery Park at Purdue University [web]
Purdue/Industry Partnerships Newsletter [web, pdf]

Startup Weekend Launches Startup Foundation Initiative in Partnership with Kauffman Foundation

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The Startup Foundation currently has eight pilot member cities: Boston; Des Moines; Detroit; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York City; Seattle; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Foundation co-founders in each city are mapping their local entrepreneurial ecosystem and interviewing community leaders.

From the Kauffman Foundation:

“Startup Weekend, a global grassroots network of entrepreneurs and leaders, today announced an initiative in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that will lead to the creation of vibrant startup communities in cities across the nation. Called the Startup Foundation, the program is a grassroots initiative that helps cities build and establish ecosystems that will support more high-growth entrepreneurs, startups, and ultimately, jobs.

“We know from our experiences with local Startup Weekends that entrepreneurship is best supported at the grassroots level,” said Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend. “The Startup Foundation will ensure that community leaders across the country have a sustainable platform for which to effect real change within their local communities.”

Startup Weekends are events in cities around the world where aspiring founders and startup supporters meet to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch companies. With funding from the Kauffman Foundation, the Startup Foundation will focus on researching and mapping the ecosystems of participating cities to identify influential leaders, programs and gaps in community resources; supporting local initiatives that drive the creation of more entrepreneurs, startups, and jobs; and raising funds for local entrepreneurship support initiatives…”

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE [web]
Startup Foundation [web]
About Startup Foundation on YouTube [web]
Startup Weekend [web]

Will Stanford Take the F Train to Silicon Island? Tensions Rise as Deadline for Tech Campus Approaches

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

As the Oct. 28 deadline for proposals approaches, both neighborhood advocates and the institutions bidding have intensified their campaigns. Scuttlebutt has Stanford as the frontrunner and Roosevelt Island as the likely site, agitating folks like Ms. Dolan and institutions like N.Y.U.

From BetaBeat:

“If replicating the talent engine that fuels Silicon Valley sounds ambitious, City Hall’s underlying vision is even more enterprising. New York City’s Economic Development Corporation has offered universities around the world a chance to compete for city-owned land in the hopes of besting the Valley, wresting the title of innovation capital from global competitors and remaking New York’s industrial landscape. So long Goldman Sachs, hello start-ups—if it comes to that, of course. Estimates are that the project will generate $6 billion in economic activity over the next few decades and add 8,000 construction jobs and spin out 400 companies in the coming years.

The E.D.C.’s application makes no bones about its goal: “Increase the probability that the next high growth company—a Google, Amazon, or Facebook—will emerge in New York City and not in Shanghai, Mumbai, or Sao Paolo…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]

Clean-tech ‘accelerator’ Greenstart opens in S.F.

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Greenstart aims to help startups succeed by providing seed funding, resources, mentors, networking opportunities and connections to investors during an intensive three-month program, similar to the “boot camp for startups” that Mountain View’s Y Combinator runs for tech firms.

From SF Gate:

“Greenstart, an “accelerator” to boost fledgling clean-technology companies, opened its reclaimed-wood doors in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, the first such enterprise in a city that hopes to become a hub for clean tech.

The first four companies of what eventually will be hundreds cycling through Greenstart’s flexible work space represent an array of clean-tech approaches: biomass diesel, a smart plug, energy monitoring software and a smart window shade. Greenstart said the four, selected from 130 applicants, are already capital efficient and able to generate revenue in 12 months or less…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
GREENSTART [web]
Applications re-open October 2, 2011 [web]

MassChallenge: Why the world’s largest startup incubator is also a non-profit

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

We take these teams out of their moms’ basements and put them on the 14th floor of a sky-rise on Boston’s waterfront.

From The Next Web Insider:

“At the forefront of excellence and prestige is the Boston-based non-profit, MassChallenge, which bills itself as “the world’s largest startup competition”. MassChallenge is a very special kind of accelerator, as it is both an independent non-profit and does not take equity. Now, in its second year, MassChallenge is incubating 125 companies in its Boston waterfront offices, and each team is competing for $1 million in prizes. The competition is open to anyone in the world, for any new startup, in any industry.

For MassChallenge’s first class, it received 450 applications from 24 countries. 111 teams were chosen, representing all industries and levels of development within the early-stage spectrum. The 4-month program held hundreds of training and networking events, workshops and job fairs. In the end, there were 16 winners; 4 teams won $100K and 12 teams won $50K from the MassChallenge million. The 111 teams went on to raise $100 million in total venture funding and created 500 new jobs in under 12 months. This summer, Ksplice, a 2010 MassChallenge winner, was acquired by Oracle, marking the first exit of a MassChallenge-supported startup…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
MassChallenge Vision [web]
MassChallenge on Facebook [web]
MassChallenge TV [web]

Harvard Accelerator Program, Proving Its Mettle with Startups and Pharma Partnerships, Looks to Raise Big New Fund

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The five-year goal for the Accelerator Fund is for one or two drug candidates born from Harvard research to be in Phase 1 clinical trials, and for at least one of the program’s startups to enter into exit talks with another company.

From Xconomy:

“The Accelerator Fund, which Xconomy wrote about in early 2008, was created to help Harvard scientists commercialize their inventions by forming industry partnerships, licensing technology, and starting new companies, primarily in life sciences and biomedical fields. As technology development head and senior associate provost Isaac Kohlberg puts it, “The pipelines of Harvard were empty.” The school “suffered from a branding issue with stakeholders about the role of technology development,” he says.

Kohlberg and his team, which includes Curtis Keith, chief scientific officer of the Accelerator Fund, were brought in to overhaul Harvard’s tech transfer and development offices…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Harvard’s Office of Technology Development [web]
Technology Development Accelerator Fund [web]

To Be or Not To Be: University Incubators

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Should universities create, own, and operate an incubator?

It’s all about community engagement and prosperity through innovation and economic development.

By Keith McDowell:

“From a whimper to a shout out! Such is the history of university business incubators over the past decade. From the existence of a countable few before the year 2000, universities, colleges, and even community colleges have “manned up” on the issue of creating incubators at every crossroad and in every community. It’s all about community engagement and prosperity through innovation and economic development. And as might be expected, the “incubators” come in so many varieties that they are no longer countable. Is it an incubator or an accelerator, virtual space or leased real estate, profitable or subsidized?”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]