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Academic Entrepreneurship: How to Bring Your Scientific Discovery to a Successful Commercial Product

Academic Entrepreneurship: How to Bring Your Scientific Discovery to a Successful Commercial Product

Michele Marcolongo

ISBN: 978-1-118-85907-0 September 2017 224 Pages


The pathway to bringing laboratory discoveries to market is poorly understood and generally new to many academics. This book serves as an easy-to-read roadmap for translating technology to a product launch – guiding university faculty and graduate students on launching a start-up company.

•    Addresses a growing trend of academic faculty commercializing their discoveries, especially those supported by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health
•    Offers faculty a pathway and easy-to-follow steps towards determining whether their discovery / idea / technology is viable from a business perspective, as well as how to execute the necessary steps to create and launch a start-up company
•    Has a light-hearted and accessible style of a step-by-step guide to help graduate students, post-docs, and faculty learn how to go about spinning out their research from the lab
•    Includes interviews by faculty in the disciplines of materials science, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, information technology, energy, and mechanical devices – offering tips and discussing potential pitfalls to be avoided

Dedication ix

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

About the Author xvii

1 So, You Have a Game-Changing Discovery Congratulations! 1

Brief Review of Academic Entrepreneurship 3

State of University Technology Transfer 5

Study of Academic Entrepreneurship 7

Academic Start-Ups Are “Early Stage” 8

Overview of the Process 13

Summary 18

References 18

2 Now What? Protect Your Intellectual Property 21

Types of Intellectual Property 22

Patent 22

Trademark or Service Mark 23

Copyright 23

Trade Secret 23

Patenting and Public Disclosure Considerations 25

University Patenting Process 27

The Anatomy of a Patent 34

How to Read a Patent 42

Summary 43

References 43

3 Are They Buying What Youre Selling? The Search Phase 45

Example 48

Example 51

The Value Proposition 54

Summary 56

Reference 56

4 Friend or Foe: The Tech Transfer Office and Licensing 57

License Agreements with Existing Corporations 58

Example 58

University IP Licenses to Start-Ups 62

Summary 70

References 71

5 Proof-of-Concept Centers: Bridging the Innovation Gap 73

Proof-of-Concept Centers (POCCs) 77

SBIR/STTR Programs 83

Summary 86

References 86

6 Start-Up Management: Youve Got to Kiss a Lot of Frogs 87

Founders Term Sheet for RegenLive 99

Management Structure 102

Directors (Board of Directors) 102

Board of Advisors 105

Consultants 105

Subcontractors 106

Employees 108

Summary 110

References 111

7 Graduate Students and Postdocs, Start Up Your Career 113

Introduction 113

Why Do It? 114

Challenges and Opportunities Spinning Out from the University for Students 116

Faculty Member Participation 119

Faculty Member Not Participating 122

None of the Above 123

Formal Education 123

Business Plan Competitions…Not Just for Undergrads 125

Conclusion 126

References 127

8 Incubators and Accelerators: Its Time to Move Out 129

Incubators 130

Accelerators 136

Summary 140

References 140

9 Do You Believe in Angels? Financing Your Company 143

Business Plan 143

Finding Investors 149

Friends and Family 150

Local Incubators/Accelerators 150

Economic Development Organizations 151

Individual Angels 151

Angel Investor Groups or Networks 153

Corporate Investors 154

Crowdfunding 155

Equity Crowdfunding 157

Academic Crowdfunding 160

Venture Capital 162

University Venture Capital 165

Sample Problem 168

Building and Expanding Value for the Academic Founder 171

Summary 174

References 175

10 Your Roadmap: Avoid the Potholes 177

How to Create a Successful Company 183

Example 1: Uber 183

The Concept 183

Market Research 183

Intellectual Property 184

Proof of Concept 184

The Team 184

Financing 184

Challenges for Uber 185

Example 2: Genentech 185

Discovery 186

Intellectual Property 186

The Team 187

Market Research 187

Financing 188

Summary and Going Forward to Your Successful Venture 190

References 191

Suggested Reading 193

Key Terms 195

Index 199