TCS Venture Development can help to determine if a startup company is viable, and will advise on other key issues relating to starting a company. The choice to establish a new company for commercializing intellectual property is a joint decision made by TCS and the inventors. If a new business startup is chosen as the preferred commercialization path, TCS can assist you and the other founders in meeting investors, consultants and entrepreneurs and accessing other resources at UConn to advise you in founding the company. It is advisable for inventors to have agreements regarding their roles with the startup reviewed by their own counsel to ensure that all personal ramifications – including taxation and liabilities – are clearly understood.
The general process for the selection of potential technologies for a university startup includes a review of inventions based on criteria such as:
- Technology novelty, supported with initial data.
- The market size.
- If the technology can be adequately protected through patents, copyright or trademark to create barriers that make market entry difficult for competitors.
- If the technology is scalable.
- If the estimate of the net present value of the return (less the costs of getting the business going) is much greater than the value that can be obtained by executing a typical license with an existing company.
- Is a prototype/proof of concept available?
- Do the inventors have a reasonable understanding of what is required to build a business, and what their roles may be?
- Does the business model have a visible path to profitability?
- Are the initial management and financing needs reasonably clear?
A startup is a new business entity formed to commercialize one or more related intellectual properties. Forming a startup business is an alternative to licensing the IP to an established business. There are several factors you should consider to determine if a startup is viable path. Examples include:
- Idea-Team-Plan Trifecta: A successful start-up evolves around three key ingredients: (1) a new idea, supported by initial data, (2) an experienced team to develop and deliver technical and business goals, and (3) a business plan that serves as a road map.
- Not Every Great Idea Needs to be a Company: Consider alternative paths, such as partnership, co-development, licensing, and more.
- Execution Risk: While having a new idea is necessary for creating a startup, it is not sufficient for its success. It requires focused team-work, and willingness to take in advice and to pivot when necessary.
- Competition and Collaboration: Two key elements to be fully aware of and respond to with a dynamic approach.
- Funding: How much capital is required to deliver various milestones, what sources to pursue, and Return on Investment (ROI)?
- Market Size and Dynamic: Is the market large enough and is it a stable, shrinking or expanding market?
- Revenue and Exit: What is the revenue projection and potential key opportunities for exit?