The Tech Transfer IP Forum is devoted to providing in-depth analysis of intellectual property issues related to university and non-profit technology transfer. The forum will focus on life sciences, including biotechnology, chemical, medical device, pharmaceutical, and agricultural-related inventions, and will deliver updates on current domestic and international patent law relevant to technology transfer through blog posts, webinars and podcasts.
Jackson State University Tech Transfer Office with Almesha L. Campbell
On this episode of Tech Transfer IP, Lisa has the pleasure of speaking with Almesha L. Campbell. Almesha is the Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development/Director for Technology Transfer and Commercialization at Jackson State University (JSU). Almesha provides support for the overall direction of the Division of Research and Economic Development and manages the intellectual property process from the triage of invention disclosures to commercialization.
Almesha provides strategic direction and vision for defining partnerships in research, commercialization, entrepreneurship, and innovation initiatives between JSU and other institutions, funding agencies, and industry stakeholders. Almesha is the principal investigator for the National Science Foundation funded by JSU Innovations Corps (I-Corps) Site designed to train teams of faculty and students on how to commercialize their ideas using the Lean Startup Methodology.
Listen as Almesha speaks about her journey to Tech Transfer, the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development at JSU, and NIGMS XLerator Network at the University of Kentucky. Almesha shares how her office is structured, how many invention disclosures they had in 2019, and what she has done to build trust with the faculty at JSU.
Almesha discusses her office's relationship with their corporate partners and philanthropic organizations like the Gates Foundation. Almesha shares some of her office's biggest success stories and a few of their biggest challenges. She speaks about the value she believes that AUTM and other organizations like them bring, her thoughts on credentialing, and what three things she would wish for her office at Jackson State University.
In This Episode:
[02:34] Welcome to the show, Almesha! [02:56] Almesha shares her background and her journey to Tech Transfer at JSU. [05:05] Almesha speaks about being offered the job to head the Tech Transfer at JSU. [07:07] Listen as Almesha talks about the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development at JSU. [10:01] Almesha shares presenting her proposal to the President of the University. [13:03] Almesha speaks about the things they have available to non-STEM students. [15:48] Can you tell us a little about NIGMS XLerator Network with the University of Kentucky and XLerateHealth? [19:31] Almesha discusses how her office is structured. [22:14] Almesha talks numbers and shares how many invention disclosures they had in 2019. [25:13] Almesha speaks about some things that have been done to help build trust with the faculty. [27:07] What do you think is most important in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity for success? [29:03] Almesha shares the relationship they have with their corporate partners. [30:07] Having corporate partners has allowed them to have differently structured deals. [30:58] Almesha speaks about the role of philanthropic organizations like the Gates Foundation. [32:58] Almesha discusses some of her office's biggest success stories regarding successful technologies and startups. [34:10] People, resources, and awareness are some of the biggest challenges that Almesha's office faces. [37:09] Does JSU have any programs to help encourage and assist women inventors and entrepreneurs? [38:27] Almesha shares what value AUTM has given her. [41:17] What other organizations have you been involved with? [43:46] Almesha shares her thoughts on credentialing. [45:23] Almesha discusses three wishes she has for Jackson State University. [47:45] Thank you for being on the show! Find Almesha L. Campbell
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The IDEA Center at Notre Dame with Richard Cox and Steven Asiala
Lisa's guests on this episode of Tech Transfer IP are Richard Cox and Steven Asiala from the Innovation, De-Risking and Enterprise Acceleration (IDEA) Center at the University of Notre Dame. Dick is the Director of Licensing & Business Development at the IDEA Center. His primary responsibilities are marketing new technologies to potential licensees, negotiating licensing terms, and constructing workable licenses and other commercialization agreements. Steven is the Faculty Engagement Associate with the IDEA Center. In this role, Steven partners with Notre Dame faculty to identify research discoveries and innovations which serve as the basis for Invention Disclosures and commercial opportunities.
Dick and Steven discuss how the IDEA Center came about, their vision, mission, and values, and the types of activities they provide. Steven talks about the four key stakeholders they serve and what is going on at Innovation Park. They also chat about the McCloskey New Venture Competition, what it is, and how much revenue it generates.
Listen, as Steven and Dick share the three-step process their office uses when evaluating inventions and commercial opportunities, how the risk assessment scorecard informs them of the next steps for an individual technology and the enterprise acceleration step of the process.
Dick and Steve speak about some of their offices' biggest success stories in technology and startups, what they are doing to assist women entrepreneurs, and what value they see organizations like AUTM bring to tech transfer. They finish up with their visions for the IDEA Center to become self-endowed and recognized as a world leader in entrepreneurship, education, and global impact.
In This Episode:
[04:32] Welcome to the show, Dick and Steven! [04:54] Dick shares his background and his journey to Tech Transfer. [07:45] Dick speaks about being recruited to South Carolina and then being transferred to Hawaii, leading to Notre Dame. [08:47] Steven discusses his journey to his role at the IDEA Center. [11:08] Dick gives a quick overview of how the IDEA Center came about. [14:06] Dick shares how two working groups came together. [15:24] Steven speaks about the vision, mission, and values of the IDEA Center. [16:44] What types of activities does the IDEA Center provide? [19:44] Steven chats about the four key stakeholders that they see themselves serving. [20:10] Dick discusses what is going on at Innovation Park. [22:12] What is the McCloskey New Venture Competition, and how much money is generally generated? [23:35] Steven shares the three-step process the IDEA Center uses when evaluating inventions and commercial opportunities. [26:44] Their risk assessment scorecard informs them of the next steps for individual technology. [29:11] Dick explains the enterprise acceleration step of the process. [32:19] Steven talks about his role with the Notre Dame faculty to identify research discoveries and innovations which become invention disclosures and commercialization opportunities. [35:01] Steven speaks about how he has been intentional about building one-to-one relationships. [37:52] Steven shares how the pandemic has affected his office and one-on-one relationships. [39:15] How is your office structured? [40:28] Dick gives his opinion on what is most important when managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity for success? [41:33] Steven describes some university's biggest success stories in terms of successful technologies and startups. [42:35] Steven shares that the IDEA Center is in the process of developing strategies to assist women and under-represented inventors and entrepreneurs. [44:27] What organizations like AUTM are you involved in, and what value do you believe they add? [47:42] Dick says that he would love for the IDEA Center to become self-endowed, recognized as a world leader in entrepreneurship educatio
Reshaping Tech Transfer for Urban-Serving Universities with Rob Gerlach
Lisa’s guest on this episode of TTIP is Rob Gerlach. Rob is the Executive Director of Tech Transfer and Commercialization at Wichita State University and a registered Patent Attorney. At Wichita State, Rob is tasked with protecting the University’s intellectual property and transferring innovation from the university to the commercial marketplace where its true potential can be realized. Rob believes that conventional technology transfer methods don’t work for universities situated like Wichita State. One of his primary goals is to reshape how urban-serving universities handle tech transfer.
Listen, as Rob shares his journey to Tech Transfer at Wichita State University, why he transitioned from working at a law firm to heading the office and how his office is structured. Rob speaks about getting students involved in tech transfer and what he looks for when hiring his team.
Rob discusses how he feels tech transfer can best serve the mission of an urban-setting university like Wichita State, how many disclosures, and the licensing revenue his office has generated this past year. Rob discusses their corporate partners and how current partnerships have enabled them to create some of their best technology.
Rob believes that setting expectations and establishing an innovation culture are two of his office’s biggest challenges. His vision for the future is to continue expanding on what they are doing now in tech transfer and getting more students involved. Rob is involved with AUTM and says that AUTM and similar organizations provide a lot of value, but he isn’t a big fan of credentialing.
In This Episode:
[01:55] Welcome to the show, Rob! [02:26] Rob shares his journey to Tech Transfer at Wichita State University. [05:16] Rob talks about running a startup versus working at a law firm. [06:24] Rob speaks about how his office is structured. [09:03] Listen as Rob discusses NIAR and the relationship to his office. [11:23] Rob talks about what he is looking for when it comes to hiring students. [11:57] How do you feel that tech transfer can best serve the mission of an urban-serving university like Wichita State? [14:53] Rob shares how many invention disclosures and the amount of licensing revenues they have had this past year. [16:51] Rob talks about what he believes is the most important thing in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity for success. [19:19] Rob discusses the role corporate partners have played in tech transfer at Wichita State. [22:12] Rob says that their corporate partners have led to differently structured deals. [24:01] Rob shares some current partnerships they have created with some of their technologies. [27:36] Setting expectations and establishing an innovation culture are two of Rob’s office’s biggest challenges. [30:57] Rob is a co-host of the podcast Shock Talk; listen as he shares more about what this podcast is about. [34:00] Does Wichita State have any programs to help encourage and assist women inventors and entrepreneurs? [36:32] Rob talks about the value he believes organizations like AUTM provide. [37:27] Rob is not a fan of credentialing in general but can see the value in it. [38:22] Rob’s vision for Wichita State is to continue expanding what they are doing in tech transfer and continuing to get more students involved. [40:20] Thank you for being on the show! Find Rob Gerlach
Technology Commercialization at VCU Innovation Gateway with Koffi Egbeto
"My vision for VCU Innovation Gateway is to bring national prominence and world-class recognition and value to VCU, and it's inventors." In this episode of Tech Transfer IP, Lisa is talking with Koffi Selom Egbeto. Koffi is a Technology Commercialization Manager with the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Innovation Gateway. Before working at VCU, Koffi was a Licensing Associate with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Prior to UTA, Koffi was a patent technical writer with TR Patents and a patent analyst intern at WTS Paradigm.
Koffi shares his background and journey to VCU Innovation Gateway and discusses what they do. He speaks about how his office is structured, how many disclosures and patents they had in 2019, and how much licensing revenue they had. Koffi believes that the most important thing when managing innovations to have the greatest opportunities for success is to be open-minded and to find the right market and individuals to help in the process.
Listen as Koffi speaks about the relationship they have with their corporate partners and the role of philanthropic organizations like the Gates Foundation. Koffi also shares what he would have done differently when he started in tech transfer if he knew then what he knows now.
Koffi discusses some of his offices' biggest successes and challenges, what he finds valuable about organizations like AUTM and whether he thinks credentialing makes a difference when hiring someone. Koffi also shares what his vision for VCU Innovation Gateway is and why.
In This Episode:
[01:54] Welcome to the show, Koffi! [02:15] Koffi shares his background, how he got into tech transfer, and his journey to VCU Innovation Gateway. [05:00] Koffi discusses the challenges and opportunities he had as he was trying to become a permanent American resident. [07:20] Koffi talks about VCU Innovation Gateway and what they do. [08:52] How did the commercialization fund get started? [10:13] Koffi discusses how his office is structured. [11:06] Koffi shares how many disclosures, patents, and the licensing revenue they had for 2019. [12:04] Koffi believes that the most important thing in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunities for success is open-minded and finding the market and individuals. [12:36] Koffi speaks about the relationship they have with their corporate partners, and if they led to more deals or differently structured deals. [13:45] What is the role of philanthropic organizations like the Gates Foundation? [15:04] Koffi shares what he would have done differently when he first started if he knew then what he knows now. [16:50] Koffi discusses some of his office's biggest success stories in technology and startups. [18:10] What are some of your office's biggest challenges? [19:13] Koffi is involved with AUTM, and he finds it valuable and says it makes you feel you are part of a community. [20:10] He believes that it's nice to have credentialing, but he doesn't think it makes a big difference. [20:58] Koffi shares his vision for VCU Innovation Gateway. [22:03] Thank you for being on the show! Find Koffi Selom Egbeto
Policy Can Change Attitudes with Louise Epstein
In this episode of Tech Transfer IP, Lisa is talking with Louise Epstein. Louise is the Executive in Residence at the Austin Technology Incubator (affiliated with UT Austin) and a principal advisor with the Larta Institute. In both positions, she provides business commercialization advice to science-based startups. Before Larta, Louise was the Director of University Partnerships for the Walton Family Foundation, where she crafted grants for maximum impact. While there, she wrote "12 Critical Components of University Technology Commercialization," which has served as a primer for many technology transfer offices interested in creating startups.
Louise shares her journey from public service to Tech Transfer, why she ended up in tech transfer, and how her career in public service has helped her grow in the field. Lisa also discusses her work with the Walton Family Foundation and how working there was different yet in some ways similar to working in tech transfer.
Louise talks about the paper she wrote on the 12 Critical Components of University Technology Commercialization. She believes a university's IP policy affects and impacts faculty, staff, and startups and how a simple policy change can transform and energize the faculty and their attitude toward innovation.
Louise talks about funding for startups, the challenges she sees with GAP funding, and how she believes startups can find experienced CEO's to run the company. She also discusses why she believes it's important for startups to have off-campus office space, affordable professional services, and an engaged business community. Louise ends the conversation by sharing what her incredible career has meant to her.
In This Episode:
[02:40] Welcome to the show, Louise! [03:10] Louise shares how she went from public service to running a company and ultimately to Tech Transfer. [04:24] What was it about tech transfer that resonated with you? [05:26] Listen, as Louise speaks about how her public service time helped prepare her for Tech Transfer. [08:33] Louise talks about the differences and similarities of working in Tech Transfer versus working for a Foundation. [10:23] Louise discusses what she does at the Larta Institute. [12:57] Lisa lists the 12 Critical Components of University Technology Commercialization that Louise wrote about. [14:01] Louise shares why she believes a University's IP policy can create fear in faculty, staff, and startups. [16:15] Louise believes that a simple policy change can energize and transform the faculty and their attitude toward innovation. [18:12] Do you have any examples of where a University had a policy that encouraged collaboration? [20:23] Louise talks about the four questions she poses regarding culture and her recommendations for each. [22:26] Louise shares her experience with students that are founders of startups out of a professor's lab. [25:00] Louise speaks her thoughts for tech transfer offices around making a licensing versus a startup decision. [26:11] What programs do you recommend to the startups to help facilitate their advancement? [28:17] Louise says that business communities want to know what the Universities are doing. [30:11] Louise talks about some funds that are available for startups. [32:44] Louise shares the challenge she sees with GAP funding. [34:24] Listen as Louise discusses how startups can find experienced CEO's and what the benefit of having one is. [36:01] What is the importance of first clients/customers of the startups? [38:35} Louise speaks about why startups need to have off-campus office space and affordable professional services. [40:50] Louise shares why it's important to have an engaged business community to interact with University startups. [42:37] Louise talks about Robert Metcalf and the honor of working with him. [44:00] Looking back, what has your incredible career in Tech Transfer and
PIVOT Center at the University of Utah with Keith Marmer
Keith Marmer from the University of Utah is Lisa’s guest on this episode of Tech Transfer IP. Keith is the Chief Innovation & Economic Engagement Officer at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Before working at the PIVOT Center, Keith served as the Associate Vice President for Technology & Venture Commercialization and Corporate Partners at the University of Utah.
Keith shares his background and how he landed at the University of Utah. He discusses his view on why he believes the term Tech Transfer should be changed to Innovation Management and what the PIVOT Center is all about. Keith speaks about how the roles for the University of Utah's Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization have evolved now that the office has become PIVOT Center.
Listen, as Keith talks about how PIVOT Center is structured and their yearly average of invention disclosures and active licenses. Keith discusses their top-earning inventions and what he believes is most important in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity of success.
Keith speaks about their corporate partners, and their role in getting their wet lab incubator started. He talks about the relationship they have with philanthropic organizations, what StartUp 360 is, some of their most successful startups, and some of their biggest challenges. He also shares the value they find in organizations like AUTM and his opinion on credentialing.
In This Episode:
[02:39] Welcome to the show, Keith! [02:57] Keith shares his background and how he ended up at the University of Utah. [05:32] Keith discusses why he thinks we should change the phrase Tech Transfer to Innovation Management. [07:45] Listen as Keith speaks about PIVOT Center and what it does. [09:49] How have the roles for the University of Utah's Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization changed now that the office has become PIVOT Center? [11:38] Keith shares how PIVOT Center is structured. [13:03] Keith discusses the average amount of invention disclosures and active licenses they get per year. [13:40] What would say your top earning inventions are? [15:04] Keith speaks about what he believes is most important in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity for success. [17:18] Keith describes their approach to litigation. [19:08] He talks about corporate partners and their role in technology transfer at PIVOT Center. [21:41] Keith discusses working through the processes for opening up a wet lab incubator with one of the corporate partners. [23:34] How recent was the launch of the incubator? [24:31] Keith speaks about how corporate partners have led to differently structured deals. [27:21] Keith discusses their relationship with philanthropic organizations at the University of Utah. [30:33] Reflecting on past license transactions, what might you have done differently if you knew then what you know now? [33:54] Keith shares what "StartUp 360" is. [36:34] Keith talks about how many entrepreneurs and residents they have at one time. [39:34] Listen as Keith shares some of their successful startups. [41:27] What are two of your office's biggest challenges? [44:27] Resources are always a constant battle. [47:47] Keith discusses the programs they have at PIVOT for women inventors and entrepreneurs. [49:16] Keith talks about the organizations they are involved in and the value they add. [50:58] Do you think the RTTP designation or credentialing makes a difference? [52:12] Keith describes his three wishes for PIVOT and the vision that has already been realized. [54:50] Thank you so much for being on the show! Find Keith Marmer