U-M Tech Transfer is enhancing the quality of the start-up ventures emerging from University of Michigan research, and accelerating their time to market. As a result, the venture professionals of the U-M Tech Transfer Venture Center are ensuring future job creation and expanding the University’s contribution to economic development.
Through U-M Tech Transfer and its associated Venture Center, the University launches an average of ten companies per year, or one every five weeks. Part of this success can be attributed to the January 2011 launch of the U-M Tech Transfer Venture Accelerator, a 13,000 square foot facility that is presently home to 19 high-tech U-M start-up companies.
[pullquote align=”left”]We can pull together investors and entrepreneurs from all the companies we’ve supported and all the companies we interact with and the Accelerator provides the central focus to do that, which we could not have done before.” -Jack Minor, Director[/pullquote]Accelerator companies span the life sciences, clean-tech, software and other technology ventures from the portfolio of emerging U-M start-ups. Tenants have the unique opportunity to sign flexible leases for access to world-class NCRC laboratory and office space, along with the entrepreneurial talent, business services and resources from the Venture Center. They are able to take advantage of support to help them refine business models, attract investors, acquire gap funding and connect to talent who would enhance the company’s sustainability and long-term prospects. The facilities at NCRC have also provided a focal point for the entrepreneurial community both inside the University and within the greater Ann Arbor area to network and leverage opportunities.
“Having these companies collocated with us in the NCRC,” says Jack Minor, director of U-M’s Venture Center, “allows us stay actively engaged every step of the way. We don’t just help them launch, but we stay with them though the process, offering mentorship, making connections to funding partners, identifying customers, and helping them achieve success.”
The Venture Center and its Accelerator have allowed U-M to strategically tap into other entrepreneurial efforts focused on stimulating the Ann Arbor region and economy. Since launching at the NCRC Tech Transfer’s Venture Center has:
“We can pull together investors and entrepreneurs from all the companies we’ve supported and all the companies we interact with and the Accelerator provides the central focus to do that, which we could not have done before,” said Minor.
“With U-M Tech Transfer, the Business Engagement Center and our new start-up Accelerator located at NCRC, we have established a foundation for exploring a wide range of public private partnerships,” said Stephen Forrest, VP of Research at U-M.
The Accelerator is part of U-M Tech Transfer. Funding for the project is provided by U-M Tech Transfer, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Provost, the College of Engineering, Literature Science and the Arts, the Medical School, and the U-M Health System.