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Allied Minds Creates Unique Crowdsourcing Website for Commercializing University Technology

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

What would you do with plastic batteries or silver ink pens that write electric circuits?

From MarketWatch:

“A private equity firm that invests in university-derived inventions, Allied Minds, Inc. today (3/7/2012) announced the creation of AlliedMindStorm.com, an open innovation website that invites the public (Thinkers) to brainstorm new commercial applications around exciting technologies (Challenges) developed by researchers at universities across the country. Any “Thinker” whose specific application of the technology results in a new startup will receive $25,000. In addition, smaller prizes will be given out for best-in-class suggestions.

“Allied MindStorm represents the manifestation of our firm’s mission: we want a diverse community of people working together to transform invention into innovation,” Allied Minds CEO Chris Silva said. “Although our primary goal is to create new businesses based around the best suggestions we receive, our ultimate motivation is changing the way the public thinks about how technology evolves from an idea into a commercial application.”

Hundreds of American universities market thousands of technology inventions to investment firms each year. Many of these are technologies with obvious commercial uses. Some of the most ambitious and intriguing research, however, gets passed over because of too many unanswered question about what is the best application to develop a sustainable product or service. Allied MindStorm.com is the first crowdsourcing platform within the institutional investment industry designed to answer these questions in order to commercialize research more efficiently…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Allied MindStorm [web]
Allied Minds [web]

Growing a New York Biotech Culture

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

NYC plays catch-up to create centers, attract venture capital.

From Crain’s NY Business:

“In recent years, the Bloomberg administration and its partners in academia and business have worked to overcome barriers to commercial biotech, from lack of space to lack of funding. The focus is now turning to what some consider the most difficult obstacle: a scarcity of entrepreneurial instinct in a medical-science community that widely thinks “going commercial” means to succumb to the dark side. From networking and pitching events to mentoring, advocates are trying to build the kind of startup ecosystem that has helped make the city’s Internet industry the fastest growing in the country.

“Innovation is a mindset; it’s a culture,” said Jonathan Lewis, a former Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center surgeon, and founder and CEO of Manhattan-based cancer-drug developer Ziopharm Oncology Inc. “It’s been applied to high-tech, and now it has to be applied to biotech.”

It remains to be seen whether such efforts can replicate here what developed organically in biotech hot spots like Boston and San Francisco. Venture capitalists expect that it will take years, along with a string of successful companies and a coterie of seasoned biotech entrepreneurs who can invest in and mentor the next generation of startups…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
NYU’s Venture Fund Announcement [web]
Aisling Capital [web]
Alexandria Center for LifeScience – NYC [web]
BioBAT [web]
NYC Tech Connect [web]
Columbia Tech Ventures [web]

The Varick Street NYU-Poly Incubator: Best In NYC?

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

The incubator has one single goal. To help create great companies that will call NYC home.

From the Business Insider:

“It’s very rare that a joint effort between the public, private, and education sector comes together to produce meaningful results. However, The Varick Street Incubator may be a shining example and roadmap for other cities to follow on how to foster tech innovation.

After spending time at various incubators in the city, it very well may be that the Varick Street incubator is the top place in NYC for new entrepreneurs to call home. If you get the opportunity to be at Varick Steet, you enjoy a lot of benefits. The incubator does not ask for any equity in your company. The rent is really affordable and includes a lot of amenities that are not free at other incubators. Best of all, you get access to high quality interns / employees from NYU, potential seed investors, NYU faculty advisors, and assistance from dozens of other private partners involved with the incubator. Probably one of the best benefits is that several serial entrepreneurs call the incubator home and serve as mentors and motivation for first time founders…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Inside view of the Incubator [web]
Varick Street Incubator [web]
NYC Seed [web]
NYC Venture Connect [web]

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]

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]

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]

Ben Franklin teams with DreamIt Ventures to keep startups in Philly

July 5, 2011 Leave a comment

The partnership creates an easy path for local follow-on investment by Ben Franklin and local angels to help support the company as it seeks its Series A financing round.

From Technically Philly:

“DreamIt Ventures has proved it can incubate successful startups. Now it turns to a greater challenge: keeping them in Philadelphia.

The University City-based startup incubator is partnering with Ben Franklin Technology Partners to create “DreamIt Plus” an investment fast track for DreamIt grads to ensure they have access to the follow-on capital that often drives incubated companies to move out of the city when graduating DreamIt…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Ben Franklin to Launch DreamIt Plus Investment Program [press release]
DreamIt Ventures [web]
Ben Franklin Tech Partners [web]