University of Minnesota spins-out three tech ventures in FY 2014

umnotcThe University of Minnesota Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) aka ‘Tech Transfer’ or ‘Venture Center’ commercialized a record number of startups during the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which ended June 30th.

That’s per a well crafted communication published today on a University staff blog:

“OTC forms startup companies around U inventions, partnering faculty with industry professionals who have the expertise needed to turn a breakthrough into a commercially available product. In fiscal 2014, OTC’s Venture Center launched a record 15 startup companies, topping the previous record of 14 companies in 2013. Since forming OTC in 2006, the university has launched a total of 67 startup companies. (See this infographic for more information on U of M startups and their impact.)

…The Venture Center taps an extensive network of proven entrepreneurs, inventors and venture capitalists to match the U’s intellectual property with experienced CEOs. Startup companies provide another way, in addition to licensing technology or sponsoring research, for the U’s intellectual property to reach the public, where it can benefit the most people.”

While the ventures are heavily concentrated on technologies in the medical industry (as many as 10), there are three distinctly within the realm of information/Internet technology:

  • Efficient Windows Collaborative (Civic/content): Nonprofit company that provides unbiased online information on the benefits of energy-efficient windows, descriptions of how they work and recommendations for their selection and use. Faculty: Kerry Haglund and John Carmody, Center for Sustainable Building Research.
  • InformeDesign (Enterprise data): Searchable database giving interior designers, architects and urban planners access to current, research-based information to help in design-related decision-making. Faculty: Caren Martin, College of Design; Denise Guerin, College of Design.
  • Treatment Global (Health IT): Multi-disciplinary telehealth approach that provides chronic disease and health and wellness management without the need for clinic visits.
    Faculty: Kevin Peterson, U of M Physicians.

Last year (2012-2013), the OTC reported 14 startup spinouts, and in 2011-2012, that figure was 12.  In December, the University launched MIN-Corps to bring Carlson, OTC and the CSE department closer together and followed-that up with easier licensing access through the MN-IP Program.

As an aside, it would be interesting to see a snapshot the University’s collective IP portfolio — what’s going in over how long and what’s coming out/returning?  This infographic provides some macro insight going back to 2006 with more data expected to be released in an annual report by the end of this year.


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  • Frank Jaskulke

    “As an aside, it would be interesting to see a snapshot the University’s collective IP portfolio — what’s going in over how long and what’s coming out/returning?


    What do you mean what’s going in/what’s coming out? As in financial returns? Or something else?

    Just curious. I’m interested in how the portfolio does as well.

    • Jeff Pesek

      Yes Frank, a look at all spinouts going back as far as possible and a balance sheet. Per the OTC stated objective of “maximizing the return-on-investment value of University Intellectual
      Property” – what has the ROI been?