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Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

entrepreneursSince 1970, the University of Utah has created over 230 spin-out companies from technologies developed at the university, most of which were launched over the past ten years. Over 130 of these are still operating as either a business or as part of another company. Successful U spin-outs such as BioFire, Attensity, Blackrock Microsystems, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Myriad Genetics, and many others all began as small entrepreneurial endeavors. An integral reason for their success has been the quality entrepreneurs who led them from small companies to mid or large-sized organizations.

With an average of over 175 invention disclosures per year from the university’s innovative faculty, there is no shortage of potentially lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs at the U. While this has often been reason enough to attract many entrepreneurs to the U, the major draw for veteran entrepreneurs to the university in recent years has been the comprehensive derisking process our technologies go through.

The U Advantage: Derisked & Market Validated Technologies

entrepreneursRather than immediately seek licensees for the early-stage technologies that are disclosed to the university, TVC holds on to them longer and derisks them through a value-adding process called the Commercialization Engine. By the time our technologies are ready for license, a considerable amount of commercial value will have been added to them. This is accomplished by:

  • Thoroughly understanding inventions
  • Finding their market value
  • Determining their market fit
  • Acting on feedback from potential customers
  • Protecting IP
  • Creating a strong business model
  • Identifying & acting on milestones
  • Providing milestone-based funding
  • Executing an acceleration plan
  • The technologies that move through the Commercialization Engine are significantly derisked and have a clear market need established. This value-adding process makes it easier and less risky for entrepreneurs to take licenses to U technologies to launch a startup with. To learn more about the Commercialization Engine, click here.

    Partner With Us

    TVC is always looking for experienced and passionate entrepreneurs. Following is an ideal list of what we are looking for in entrepreneurs to lead U startups:

  • Have had multiple, successful exits
  • Are capable of assembling a team of exceptional talent and chemistry
  • Have expertise in the field of the startup(s) they are interested in
  • Like to work in a small business environment
  • Are capable of wearing many hats
  • Are not risk averse
  • Do not need an immediate salary or can raise funds to pay themselves
  • Contact Us

    If you are an entrepreneur and would like to partner with us, please contact one of the following individuals to begin a discussion:

  • Taylor Bench; Director, Economic Development Services; 801-213-3568; taylor.bench@tvc.utah.edu
  • Beth Drees; Director, Health Sciences Business & Technology Development Team; 801-585-5016; beth@tvc.utah.edu
  • Richard Green; Director, Sciences, Business & Humanities Business & Technology Development Team; 801-213-3573; richard.green@tvc.utah.edu
  • James Thompson; Director, Engineering Business & Technology Development Team; 801-213-3564; james.thompson@tvc.utah.edu