It’s finally here: Ann Arbor’s annual tech week, a2tech360, starts today and runs all next week with 16 online tech events highlighting the latest innovations and trends in mobility tech, Midwest investment, software, security startups, and life sciences.
What is happening with the newest cohort of tech and life science startups spun out of intellectual property invented at the University of Michigan? We’ve heard in recent times that the university has poured resources into programs for students interested in turning inventions and software into startups rather than taking a traditional job after graduation, but it seems spotty which majors and areas of the university are involved beyond computer science. We recently were introduced to several new startups navigating the entrepreneurial process straight out of college, and wanted to bring you the story of one small company and how it navigated through the maze of startup development from within the academic environment. It’s just one path to entrepreneurship in a growing tech and startup scene in Michigan, but one that is often hidden behind closed doors.
MI Manufacturers, Tech Companies Available to Requests for Ventilators, Remote Work Tech, Business Resources
Cronicle’s MICHIGAN LIFE SCIENCES & TECH BUSINESS COVID-19 COLLABORATION PAGE is now live and being added to daily. Michigan has a number of manufacturers, tech businesses, and hospital systems working together to create everything from medical supplies to vaccines to remote work and education options right now for COVID-19 response. Cronicle Press has put together a beginning list of companies posting requests or offering solutions to the coronavirus outbreak from business to educational tech to medical supplies and life science research. We will add to this list continually, but wanted to let you know it’s already up and running, from local manufacturers able to prototype ventilators and other hospital supplies to tech companies helping professionals and students switch to remote work options.
Joe Affholter of Michigan State Unversity and Michelle Larkin at the University of Michigan have essentially the same job: get academic research in the life sciences from the laboratory where it is discovered in Michigan’s half dozen largest research universities out to industry. Sounds simple, but it’s anything but. That’s because the MEDC’s Life Sciences MTRAC program is tasked with licensing technology invented in the academic system, mentoring new founders who often did not start in industry, and with helping companies get funded through clinical trials and the push out to the commercial market, which can take years to complete.
Rebecca Cunningham, the University of Michigan Interim VP for Research with Tech Transfer and Kelly Sexton, Associate VP for Research at Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships at U of M TechTransfer, held a panel this week at Celebrate Invention on a milestone year for the University of Michigan developing inventions, research, and startups from work done by faculty and researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. TechTransfer is the licensing office that helps researchers and faculty at the University of Michigan who develop inventions and new business ideas spin off intellectual property with proper licensing from the University of Michigan. This year, according to Cunningham, the University of Michigan has developed 502 new inventions, 198 patents, 232 licenses and options with industry, and founded a record 22 new startups.
Every Time The Bell Rings, a Startup Gets Its Wings: Venture Accelerator’s Diane Bouis Talks Connecting New Ann Arbor Startups
In a maze of buildings on the University of Michigan’s North Campus in Ann Arbor, the Venture Accelerator, startup hub for intellectual property spun off by the Office of Tech Transfer from research and faculty at the University of Michigan, sits quietly on the block that used to be owned by Pfizer. Diane Bouis, Innovation Program Manager at the Venture Accelerator, helps these new ventures find resources and space in the many labs and offices housed in the building where the Venture Accelerator hosts new companies. The Venture Center, Accelerator, and Office of Tech Transfer work in close conjunction here to support baby startups in life sciences in particular to get out into the world.