From Bureaucratic Tech Transfer to Entrepreneurial Tech Commercialization
Norris F. Krueger Jr.
Entrepreneurship Northwest; Max Planck Institute for Economics
University of Utah
Steven P. Nichols
University of Texas at Austin - College of Engineering
October 23, 2008
60 university spinouts in 3 years. 94% still alive. Lowest cost per spinout in the US. The 'book' on successful technology transfer is to find multiple ways to substitute bottom-up entrepreneurial approaches for top-down bureaucratic mechanisms. However, few programs successfully manage the transition to entrepreneurial mode. How did they succeed where so many do not?
We present an overview of the new University of Utah program where spinouts have skyrocketed (the stats above). We share the key facets of their multiple entrepreneurial approaches that converged on their current success, supported by theory and evidence from other successful programs that will give the audience critical 'lessons learned' and a deeper understanding of how other institutions can deploy this constellation of entrepreneurial mechanisms. How does Utah (and other top programs) put entrepreneurs first? How can we replicate their success?
Etzkowitz (2008) shows that despite the press and PR, the median TTO loses money - probably more than is usually known. Only a handful regularly generate significant positive cash flow. How do they differ?
We offer here a set of key principles for successful technology commercialization, illustrated by a very recent exemplar, that of the University of Utah. As opposed to a case study where the story unfolds and key best practices identified en route, this essay builds a model for successful technology commercialization organized into five key elements. For each element, we then describe the Utah model in those terms, followed by lessons for application elsewhere.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: tech transfer, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial climate, technology transfer
JEL Classification: O31, O32, M13
Date posted: October 27, 2008
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