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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

December 2012 Edition

In This Issue:

Welcome Message

Welcome to the December edition of the Innovation e-Review 


This issue we highlight resources for commercialization challenges such as funding and early stage research. 

New York State has many events and organizations that are available to facilitate progression along the commercialization curve and identify appropriate funding options. Pre-seed Workshops for early stage ideas and SmartStart Venture Forum for those further along in the process looking for funding as well as the Solutions Fairs profiled last issue are a few good places to start. A Funding resource is the Innovate New York Fund $35 million seed stage equity fund to support innovation, job creation, and high growth entrepreneurship throughout the State

Now that elections are over and the year is coming to a close we review some of the relevant legislation that was passed in the 112th Congress and cast an eye toward what to look for in the 113th along with hopes for an end to gridlock  . One thing for certain, supporting universities in commercializing new technology is a national priority. Consideration of the best way to do this is on the mind of many legislators. The featured debate considers whether free agency is an effective mechanism to accomplish this. 

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and look forward to the new year. As always please feel free to send us thoughts, comments, and suggestions at nysstlc@law.syr.edu.



Industry Concepts: the Commercialization Curve

The commercialization curve is something we mention often in the NYS STLC. It’s a description of the journey a technology makes from its inception to final stage as a product or service offered in the market. It can be a daunting trek as each point along the curve comes with its own set of hurdles and necessary action.

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IP Law Watch:112th & 113th Congress

As January approaches and the Senate and House of Representatives embark upon a new, 113th United States Congress, we look at legislation that was enacted by the 112th Congress, and items that weren't passed that may be enacted by the 113th Congress  relevant to technology commercialization. 

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NYS Events: Pre-seed Workshops

A great tool for technology commercialization in New York State is the Pre-seed Workshop. Organized in 2004 by Mark Wilson and Judy Albers, the workshops have become an annual event in many economic development regions across NYS. The two-day workshops  provide innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts and TTO’s (referred to collectively as “idea champions”) with a roadmap to figure out whether their idea is commercially viable, or what they need to know to determine if their idea is commercially viable. It provides expert legal, technical, financial and market information to assist with the important decision about whether it makes sense to invest further time, effort and money to commercialize an idea. 

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NYS Events: SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum

Often when companies are looking for initial funding they will hear about venture capital. Venture capital (VC) is a type of equity financing for companies that cannot seek capital from more traditional sources because of reasons ranging from size to stage of development.  Companies interested in attracting VC investments might look to the SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum, a showcase for promising technology companies and business innovators, as a solution.

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Featured Debate: Faculty Inventor Free Agency

Universities are increasingly expected to make economic development contributions by  commercializing their research. This is evident in the emphasis on entrepreneurship in research labs, technology transfer offices (“TTOs”), and business, law and IT schools. Most research universities have an incubator or accelerator to grow or spin out technologies or business ideas. The ability of TTOs to fulfill commercialization expectations and advise among the range of options for a variety of new technologies is increasingly complex. For example, TTOs must be prepared to advise on whether patenting is indicated, best options for building or obtaining a prototype, licensing terms , incorporation options, contacts for seasoned entrepreneurs, in-depth market research, identification of potential licensees, and legal and regulatory advice. And, all this is generally without charge to the faculty-inventor.

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