Entrepreneurs@KU was launched as a transparent and supportive infrastructure to assist faculty and staff in starting companies. This infrastructure includes educational opportunities to develop and improve business models (Startup School @KU and iCorp@KU), proof of concept funding to simultaneously improve upon the technology while still inside the university, generous and transparent licensing terms (Swift Startup License) and SBIR/STTR Assistance program to help monetize newly formed companies.
Entrepreneurs@KU was launched as a transparent and supportive infrastructure to assist faculty and staff in starting companies.
The goal of the first two programs is to empower KU faculty, fellows and staff to bring their ideas to life and build viable ventures in Kansas through an intensive hands-on entrepreneurial education experience. The programs leverage other assets in place at KU including the proof of concept (POC) fund, School of Business Center for Entrepreneurship and BTBC.
Swift Startup License: The next step is company formation and if required, a license from KU. Teams that complete the iCorp @KU program are eligible for a Swift Startup License. The Swift Startup License program goal is to stimulate the creation of new companies by KU researchers as founders through the provision of transparent licensing term of KU inventions. To promote innovation and entrepreneurship, KUIC provides simple, ready-to-use license agreement for start-up companies based on KU’s patented intellectual property. The Swift Startup License agreement (pdf) has a back-end loaded deal structure with no upfront payments, no past patent costs, no annual minimum fees, no minimum royalties, one low flat patent royalty rate and a success fee at the time of an exit/liquidation event. This would allow start-up companies to invest time and effort in developing the KU technology and is in line with current national guidance from both AAU and APLU as to the role of technology transfer in moving inventions to the marketplace.
The Swift Startup License will minimize contract negotiations enabling KU faculty and researchers to concentrate on the development of products. It is structured as attractive to prospective investors. The following are the proposed general terms:
As mentioned above, qualifying for a Swift Startup License is contingent upon completion of Startup School@KU and iCorp@KU to be eligible. The company must have a CEO with relevant business experience and a team of advisors committed to the startup.
KU created and launched an education program centered on acquiring SBIR/STTR government funding for small companies. KU partnered with BTBC to develop the SBIR/STTR Assistance Program at KU to serve KU faculty and BTBC and KU startup companies. This program brings nationally recognized consultants to KU three times per year. Day one is an all-day intensive training on how to prepare a competitive proposal to a specific agency (Spring – NSF; Summer – NIH; Fall – DoD). Day two is one-on-one meetings between the consultants and pre-screened faculty who want to start companies or who already have a company. The consultants evaluate which faculty are ready to submit a proposal based on these meetings. Intensive, one-on-one services for up to five companies is granted per cycle leading up to a SBIR/STTR application is supported through the program. The goal is to provide assistance so more faculty entrepreneurs see a path to monetizing a startup company thus creating more entrepreneurial activity.
The SBIR Assistance Program has been well received. Two training have been held to date: February (NSF held at KU-Lawrence) and May (NIH held at KUMC). A total of 66 registered for the two events representing 24 departments or centers at KU and 12 small companies. Prior to launching the training,we funded assistance to one company as a program pilot: UAV Radars LLC worked with a consultant toward a submission of a NASA Phase I SBIR application last Fall. This project was recently funded. The second round is complete and we awarded assistance for five additional companies in May.
|Faculty Founder||Campus||Academic Department||Company||Agency||Funding Status|
|Chris Allen, Lei Shi||Lawrence||Electrical Engineering Computer Science/td>||UAVRadars||NASA||Funded|
|Chris Allen, Lei Shi||Lawrence||Electrical Engineering Computer Science/td>||UAVRadars||Navy||Pending|
|Randy Nudo||KUMC||Neurology||NeuroLink||NIH||Submitting Aug. 5|
|David Guggenmos||Regenerative Medicine|
|Laird Forrest, Dan Aires, Chad Groer||Lawrence, KUMC||Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Dermatology||HylaPharm||NIH||Submitting Aug. 5|
|Michael Detamore||Lawrence||Chemical Engineering||Asklepion||NIH||Submitting Aug. 5|
|Lisa Friis, Paul Arnold||Lawrence||Mechanical Engineering; Neurosurgery||Evoke Medical LLC||NIH||Submitting Aug. 5|
|Patrick Kearney||BTBC||Collaborator: Chemistry||HD Sciences||NIH||Submitting Aug. 5|
|Darren Wallace||KUMC||Medicine (Kidney Institute)||NewCo||NIH||Submitting Dec. 5|
|Liang Xu||Lawrence||Molecular Bioscience||RBP Therapeutics||NIH||Submitting Dec. 5|
The third cycle will occur in mid-October. The training will be focused on the Department of Defense.