State legislators across the country question the benefit of funding public universities that have a substantial research component. They question the benefit to society and the state’s return on the investment of funds not spent in the classroom. Research without impact is an exercise. Successful research results change the world, but only after they leave the lab. The move from research to commercial implementation is known as technology transfer (aka tech-transfer).
Research universities have departments dedicated to patenting and licensing technology for commercial use—to transfer technology from the university to the private sector. Licensing technology to startups instead of to existing companies is one way to commercialize technology. Startup success is dependent on an ecosystem consisting of the university, the community and various resources. This primer briefly discusses the 12 critical components of commercializing university technology with startups: