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August 4th, 2009
In spite of the well-justified belief that advances in nanotechnology (aka 'disruptive materials science', as it was nicely put by Lux Research) will enable most or much of where "clean tech" needs to go, take the fight against cancer to the next level, and provide the competitive/innovative edge that manufacturing must have in high-cost regions (exemplified perfectly by state-of-the-art 65nm and 45nm semiconductors), it's been awfully quiet around the nano launching pad.
Here are the panel details:
The Changing Face of Technology Transfer and Early Stage Venture Funding
Today's emphasis on delivering more value to society from the $Bs invested in research is both a problem and an opportunity for our institutions, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors. While research budgets are generally increasing in many areas, the capital markets mess and other economic factors have caused venture capital sources to shrink significantly. Private (Angel) startup investing is hard to find. The generally depressed economic activity doesn't bode well for new product entries. On the other hand, economic downturns often stimulate a wave of new ventures.
So how does the aspiring inventor/entrepreneur best pursue commercialization of their innovation? What are the decisions you must get right the first time? What common business traps must they avoid? What resources are available to provide guidance and assistance? How are changes in the IP/Patent monetization arena impacting strategies for emerging businesses? Is the current Venture Capital model "dead", or just in need of re-tooling? How can startups improve their odds of not only 'surviving', but thriving - and earning high returns for themselves, as well as for their early and late-stage investors?
Dr. Fiona Wills, Director of Technology Transfer and Licensing,University of Washington
Cheryl Cejka, Director of Technology Commercialization, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Jim Torina, President and CEO of The University Funds, LLC, a business accelerator and seed-stage venture fund company based in Bellevue, WA
Rick LeFaivre, Ph.D, Partner, OVP Venture Partners
Michael Hochberg Ph.D, University of Washington electrical engineering faculty member and co-founder of two companies
Lewis Lee, co-founder of Lee & Hayes PLLC, and co-author of two books, Intellectual Property for the Internet in 1997 and Managing Intellectual Property Rights in 1993.
Panel Moderator: Pat Murphy, COO, The University Funds, LLC