Thursday, July 9, 2009

Whiteboard to Boardroom

New educational systems, new medical devices and new forms of drug delivery. Every day faculty, students and staff at UMKC create, build and assess new innovations that have the potential to change the world. It is widely known that universities with large research expenditures, like MIT and Stanford, use robust infrastructures to transfer technologies to the market in the form of licensing agreements and spin out companies. But what can UMKC do to transfer its rich research to the market where it can do public good?

UMKC has a wealth of resources that work to support new business development. The UMKC Innovation Center, through its Small Business and Technology Development Center, specializes in technology commercialization and provides technical assistance to early stage businesses through one-on-one consulting and training and access to early-stage capital. The Bloch School’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation gives students the skills needed to start and run early-stage companies. UMKC’s Office of Research Services assists faculty in identifying new innovations. At the system level, the University of Missouri is increasing its resources to support technology transfer by adding additional market research and legal expertise to evaluate new ideas.

In addition, UMKC is working within the community to establish Kansas City as a major center for innovation and for building economic growth through the development of entrepreneurial ventures. UMKC’s KCSourceLink connects a network of more than 140 nonprofit organizations across the region including incubators, angel groups and technical assistance providers that support business growth.

Whiteboard to Boardroom (W2B) is a new program that will align and coordinate current internal and external efforts to build businesses from university research. The program joins a partnership of UMKC resources with KU, William Jewell College, Johnson County Community College and local business support groups to explore and develop a technology commercialization process that will maximize the ability of institutions like UMKC to create spin-out companies. The program will start this fall and is expected to generate two to five new companies per year when fully operational. If you would like help starting a business, call the UMKC Innovation Center at 816-235-6063.

-Written by Maria Meyers, Director, UMKC Innovation Center and Network Builder, KCSourceLink

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