Message From The Interim Executive Director

tvc

2015: A Year of Milestones

Technology and Venture Commercialization (TVC) has been proudly serving the University of Utah’s inventive faculty and researchers since 1968. During this time, we have evolved from a traditional technology transfer office into a national leader in commercialization and innovation. The jobs and companies created by the University’s commercialization efforts have made the University a catalyst for economic development in Utah. This success, however, has not been coincidental. The effects we benefit from today are a direct result of achieving a series of planned commercialization milestones set and accomplished by the University of Utah’s rich innovation ecosystem (for more information visit www.utah.edu/innovate). As each milepost was marked, it contributed to and enriched the overall impact of this innovation ecosystem.

Advancing Through Milestones

While the success of commercializing University technology has brought substantial economic growth to the community and tens of millions of dollars back to the University, the majority of this success has come from only three percent of the University’s technologies. While this percentage is actually higher than average in the technology transfer industry, it is not a number we are satisfied with. It is also important to consider that the overwhelming majority of the University’s commercialization returns have come from its spinouts rather than technologies licensed to existing companies. In an effort to double our returns percentage, we are focusing our efforts on helping the University’s spinouts accomplish defined commercialization milestones. This includes helping them find qualified management, achieve technical mileposts, market their technologies, or to find funding, just to name a few. Achieving milestones adds additional value to a company and signals that it is one step closer to achieving its desired end goals.

Both the layered illustration at the top and the maze on the cover of the printed report feature nine important milestones that the University’s spinouts tend to progress through as they mature. Each of the featured articles in this report includes an icon indicating the current stage of that spin-out. For more information about these milestones, click here.

Meeting Milestones

As interim director of Technology and Venture Commercialization (TVC), I am honored to lead such a passionate and dedicated team. I began my journey at TVC in July 2011 as a business and technology development manager. In the spring of 2013, I was promoted to director of the engineering team. During this time, I became keenly aware of the milestones we have marked and of the progress we have made. I am grateful for the path that has been laid to help us achieve our future milestones. I believe that the seeds that have been sown over the last few years by our faculty, administration, employees, spinouts, and the work of our Commercialization Engine and Accelerator will lead to the attainment of not only our milestones, but those of our spinouts as well.

Finally, to our stakeholders, the University administration, employees, and the inventors who inspire us, I say thank you. Collectively, you are the power behind everything we do. We are proud of TVC’s success, but are also keenly aware of the challenges that face us. Diversifying our portfolio by helping more of our spinouts advance will require focus and dedication. At the same time, we believe that challenging conditions offer great opportunities for growth. We are confident that with your support we will meet these milestones.

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