Historically, university research has been done by scientist and most of those researched are have been kept strictly for academic and scientific purposes. However, many scientists don't really realize that their research can have many commercial applications. For example the nuclear research done by the Manhattan project lead to the development of MRI machines.
Successful projects founded in universities
Some university projects have found their way into commercial spaces. For example Stanford university students that came up with something called Google. Other successful startups that were him started in universities and became successful spinoffs are Akamai and Genentech.
Office of technology transfer opened
Because of these successes, many universities have opened something called the office of technology transfer. These offices are charged to identify some research projects that have potential commercial interest and then try to find strategies of how to exploit these developments. However, the disadvantage such a program is that getting a scientific research project to be consumer ready can be quite difficult and on top of that, trying to build a business from such a project can also take a lot of time, effort and money. As a result, many potentially great projects fall through the cracks because they're just not ready to be implemented yet.
NCBR and InnoVenture want to help
InnoVenture hopes to change that. Innoventure is an investment fund based in Krakow, Poland whose aim is to support scientist, inventors, and engineers in helping to develop their projects and trying to find a place in the market for the projects. The fund a part of EU’s bridge Alpha program and is a joint venture of NCBR, KPT Seed Fund , SATUS Venture, and the Cracow Centre for Innovative Technologies INNOAGH. Because of the support from NCBR they are able to take on projects that are higher in risk and at an earlier stage of the project. What they will do is to work with the team to prepare the project to a point where they are ready to start the next round of fundraising or to be acquired. They are open to projects of all types, from materials science and nanotechnology to medical engineering and telemedicine as well as aerospace technologies.
What they are offering is:
- An initial investment that is appropriate for the project
- A network of experienced business professionals for mentoring
- Tutorship in product and customer development
- Protection of the project’s intellectual property
- The team will maintain control of the project
- Connections to other investors who could become sources for later investment rounds
- The amount of equity taken allows the founder to keep control of the project and keep the project attractive for future rounds of investment
How do you apply?
If you are part of an awesome university-based scientific project and would like to find ways to commercialize your project, click here or feel free to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Innovative scientific projects from independent laboratories in Poland may be considered. European projects from outside of Poland are also welcome, however, technology developed or one member of the core team must be Polish.
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