The University of Tennessee Research Foundation(UTRF) had a feature article on the Intellectual Property Marketing Advisor Newsletter recently. In the article, they discussed the close relationship they have had with Technology 2020's Center for Entrepreneurial Growth (CEG) Program. John Hopkins, UTRF vice president, describes the relationship as having a "partnership perspective" and he highlights several examples where UTRF and the CEG have worked together to assist startup companies. The UT CEG program is based on a similar program in place with the Partnerships Directorate at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The article goes on to highlight the program from the perspective of a client company. Dr. Michael Zemel of Nutraceutical Discoveries, Inc. had just disclosed a new technology and recounts his initial discussions with UTRF when they decided that starting a company would be a good way to commercialize this new development. Dr. Zemel outlines how the CEG program assisted him in forming a marketing strategy, hiring key staff, prepare for raising funding and negotiating a license deal.
In the article, Dr. Zemel admits that his original business plan "was perhaps a little naïve, based primarily on licensing. We came to understand that in the best of all possible worlds we’d remain a small company if all we did was license. So, we shifted our focus towards partnerships for product development, and CEG was part of that decision-making process.”
The article does a good job of highlighting the local tech transfer ecosystem, bringing together a university researcher with a great idea, with a university tech transfer organization to define and protect the technology, and finally, a business mentoring organization to help the new business be successful.
Here is a link to the article: