Five tech startups spun-out from the U of M in fiscal year 2012


University of Minnesota office for Technology CommercializationThe Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) is responsible for packaging R&D developed inside University of Minnesota and pushing it into the commercial market with the intent of realizing a financial and social return on investment.

From start to finish, the group is responsible for patenting and licensing intellectual property, early development of start-up companies, providing supportive resources for researchers, and matching internal inventors with external entrepreneurs.

While discoveries by University of Minnesota researchers were used in the launch of an overall record 12 companies in fiscal year 2012, five of those 12 are found in the IT & software technology genre:


Drive Power: Web and smartphone-based products that leverage emerging measurement technologies and predictive analytics to enable people to make more informed driving decisions.

Early Learning Labs: Assessments and services to help parents and early child-care providers develop “kindergarten-ready” children.

Omicron Health Systems: Technology that helps clinicians monitor patient progress and improve the process of performing clinical research.

SMART Signal Technologies: Hardware and software solution that can be used to reduce traffic congestion on major signalized arterial highways.

VitalSims: Simulated practice setting that enables the observation, analysis, and improvement of physician decision-making.

“Jay Schrankler and his team did an exceptional job in an economy where launching new companies was challenging, to say the least,” said Tim Mulcahy, vice president for research. Contributing factors include an increase in the awareness of what technologies are available at a given point in time as well as a more streamlined licensing process.


  • Frank Jaskulke

    this is such great news. The U is a huge ship – its turning the right direction and now there is a vibrant community to support create and support local startups. It feels more and more like we are near an inflection point to return to Minnesota’s glory days of new business formation. It won’t be the same (way more IT then Medtech), it will be better.