Venture Development Process

What is the venture development process?

It is what we refer to as building a startup company around a university technology that has been licensed.

The Venture Development Process graphic (above) includes a walk-through of the steps or phases involved with starting a company based on University intellectual property. At each phase in the process, there are links to resources both internal to NC State, external from our Triangle Innovation Ecosystem and direct services offered by New Ventures within the ORC. From the initial invention disclosure to raising external capital, we assist our NC State startup companies through the process.

How do university discoveries and technologies get to market and create economic development impact?

In seeking to commercialize a technology developed at a university, the university first seeks to license that technology to an existing company since this is typically the most expedient path to market. Established companies bring resources including research and development funding, specialized equipment, subject matter expertise, market knowledge, existing customers and distribution channels.  However, finding an established company to option or license a university technology is not always feasible.  University technologies are generally at an early stage of development and can be disruptive, and sometimes there is not enough data to derisk the technology or the market opportunity sufficiently for a licensing opportunity. In this case, forming a startup company to commercialize the technology is a viable path.

Why would a startup company want to license or option a university discovery or technology?

If successful, getting a startup company to a point where the company can be acquired or go public with an initial public offering can be very lucrative for the founders, but it is a high-risk high-reward endeavor and the road can be fraught with pitfalls.  Since established companies can be resistant to licensing new technologies that could threaten their existing investment in infrastructure, equipment, people, patents, sometimes there are remarkable technologies available from universities where an appropriate licensee can not be determined or found.  In fact, sometimes the best pathway to bring a novel technology to market might be to form a new venture or a startup company.  This is often the case if there is a strong belief in the scientific merit behind the technology but the data to support the business value proposition (faster, better, cheaper, or just a better way) over what currently exists in the market is not yet available. The startup company seeks to find funding to prove out this value proposition in order to attract the partners and funding needed to fully commercialize the technology (bring it to market).

Where do you find university technologies to license?

For NC State University technologies, technologies are available on the NC State technology marketing website.  In addition, all universities that participate in Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) list their technologies on the AUTM Global Technology Portal . These are valuable resources and make searching for the right technology to address an identified  market need that much easier.

Why would it be advantageous to license a technology from a university?

Depending on the university, there will be a level of diligence and scrutiny that has been applied to selecting and filing for intellectual property (IP) protection.  At NC State University, our team works collaboratively to review, select and protect the technologies we believe have the greatest potential for impact. In addition to the diligence applied to the selection and filing for IP protection of the core technology, NC State supports the startup licensee with many resources and services through its’ New Ventures group.

What are the steps or what is the process involved in venture development?

The decision to form a startup company and license technology from NC State University can be illustrated by the Venture Development Process info graphic (above) and involves many steps or phases, each with its own learning curve, best practices, pitfalls, available resources, and avenues for partnership and support.

How does NC State University support the formation and launch of startup companies to commercialize university technology?

NC State strives to assist our innovators who would like to participate in startup companies through our New Ventures support within the Office of Research Commercialization  (ORC). We continuously strive to find new ways to make the process of commercializing university technologies through a startup more transparent, while finding ways to clarify, quantify and reduce the risks involved.  The Venture Development Process graphic (above) includes a walk-through of the steps or phases involved with starting a company based on University intellectual property. At each phase in the process, there are links to resources both internal to NC State, external from our Triangle Innovation Ecosystem and direct services offered by New Ventures within the ORC. From the initial invention disclosure to raising external capital, we assist our NC State startup companies through the process.

Our intent, with our array of partners, is to:

  • reduce the startup learning curve
  • take cost out of the equation for the startup company
  • make introductions and connections that are beneficial
  • assist the startup in discerning between the critically important issues and the non-critical ones
  • guide the startup company to effectively utilize their limited resources and focus on the right tasks at the right time
  • assist the startup company in leveraging the Research Triangle innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem

Parts of the Process

Policy

The Patent and Tangible Research Policy (POL 10.00.01) at NC State states that “it is in the public interest for the University, when appropriate, to secure intellectual property protection for the products of its research to facilitate commercialization, to encourage entrepreneurship, to contribute to the professional development of University inventors, and to enhance the educational opportunities of participating students”.

The policy defines the terms like “invention,” “inventor,” and how royalties flow through explains the university’s distribution policy as follows:

  • 40% to INVENTORS
  • 5% to the College (to be used for activities that support innovation and entrepreneurship)
  • 5% to the Department/Unit (to be used for activities that support innovation and entrepreneurship)
  • 50% to the PATENT TRUST FUND

As a condition of employment at NC State, every employee must sign the NC State Patent Agreement, which states the “obligation to communicate promptly to the University Office of Research Commercialization a full and complete disclosure of all inventions.” Further, the agreement states that “every employee will assign to the University their right title and interest in all inventions that they conceive or reduce to practice during the course of their employment or in connection with their use of university facilities or funds administered by the University.”

During this phase the university innovator will:

  • Complete an Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) through the NC State Office of Research Commercialization (ORC)
    • Online Portal for Disclosure (go.ncsu.edu/disclosure)
    • The e-Disclosure Portal is authenticated through UNITY, and will allow users to electronically create, sign, and submit disclosures for new inventions, software, plant varieties, and copyrighted works.

Online disclosure to the Office of Research Commercialization (ORC) for Copyright, Invention, Plant, or Software

The very first step in seeking to commercialize an innovation (will refer to an invention or technology, software, a copyrighted work, or plant) developed at the university will be to submit an Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) through the NC State Office of Research Commercialization (ORC). ORC will evaluate the IDF to determine the best path forward for compliance reporting and commercialization. During this time, the University Innovator should begin to consider and prepare for several possible outcomes.

  • ORC is not able to move forward with commercializing the innovation at the current time due to any number of reasons that are further described here
  • ORC will initiate the commercialization process through our Technology Marketing Website as well as direct marketing to appropriate industry contacts
    • The first option is where a suitable external licensee expresses interest in working with NC State Research Commercialization and the university innovator to commercialize the technology.
    • The second option is that there is not an interested external licensee, which opens the door for creating a startup company to commercialize the technology.

Research Commercialization Review

ORC’s staff has expertise in intellectual property management including patenting, copyright, trademark, plant variety protection, and software commercialization. Research Commercialization seeks and works with university innovators to find the path necessary to commercialization, so it is critical that the innovator leverage the expertise and experience in commercializing innovations at the earliest stage possible. However, there are many reasons why an innovation might not be able to be protected and commercialized. If ORC is unable to proceed with commercialization, your assigned Licensing Associate from ORC will respond back to the university innovator as to the reasons why. Often further development or more data is required to make a compelling case for attracting a commercialization partner. Sometimes the innovation is solid but a market need can not be identified.

How does ORC find a suitable licensee for commercialization?

If it is determined that the innovation is considered feasible for commercialization then ORC will typically market the opportunity to license the innovation to established companies and/or experienced entrepreneurs first. Licensing an innovation to an established company or experienced (also known as “serial entrepreneur“) entrepreneur is the most traditional route to successful commercialization. This is due to the financial strength, research and development capabilities, specialized equipment, developed customer base, distribution channels, and experience in bringing technologies to market.

However, licensing to an existing company or serial entrepreneur is not always feasible, and under appropriate circumstances, University Innovators may choose to form a startup company to commercialize intellectual property developed at NC State (“Startup Company”). These NC State Startup Companies drive economic growth by offering a pathway toward commercialization that often remains rooted in the local economy. Startup companies contribute to the economic development mission of the university by creating employment opportunities for our graduates, assist in attracting top faculty, and connect the research and economic development missions of the university to our alumni base. Working to ensure that NC State maintains its vibrant innovation and entrepreneurial environment is a key goal of the Office of Research Commercialization.

When does the startup company possibility become a reality?

If there is no interested external licensee, and the university innovator is interested in commercializing the technology through the creation of a startup company, then the university innovator should meet with the Office of Research Commercialization and start to discuss the possibility of launching a startup company.

This is when the Venture Development (launching a startup company based around intellectual property developed at the university) process begins.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is an Invention Disclosure Form?
    • An invention Disclosure form (IDF) is a written description of your invention or development submitted to the NC State Office of Research Commercialization (ORC). The IDF should list all collaborating sources of support and include all of the information necessary to begin pursuing protection, marketing, and commercialization activities. This document is treated as “Confidential.” Based on the IDF, the ORC may generate a non-confidential description of your invention in order to assist in marketing the technology. Once potential partners have been identified, and confidential disclosure agreements have been signed, more detailed exchanges of information can occur.
  • Why should I submit an Invention Disclosure Form?
    • When you disclose your invention to the Office of Research Commercialization, it starts a process that could lead to the commercialization of your technology. This may involve beginning the intellectual property protection process and identifying commercialization partners. If government funds were used for your research, you are required to file a prompt disclosure, which will be reported to the sponsoring agency. Similar requirements exist for industry-sponsored projects as well.
  • When should I complete an Invention Disclosure Form?
    • You should complete an IDF whenever you feel you have discovered something unique with possible commercial value. This should be done well before presenting the discovery through publications, poster sessions, conferences, press releases, or other communication. Once publicly disclosed (i.e., published or presented in any form), an invention may have restricted or minimal potential for patent protection. Differences exist between the U.S. and other countries on the impact of early publication and public disclosure on seeking patent protection. Be sure to inform the ORC of any imminent or prior presentation, lecture, poster, abstract, website description, research proposal, dissertation/masters thesis, publication, or other public presentation including the invention.
  • Should I disclose research tools?
    • Yes, if your new tools would benefit other researchers and you are interested in providing them to those researchers and to others. Typically, research tools are materials such as antibodies, vectors, plasmids, cell lines, mice, and other materials used as “tools” in the research process. Most research tools do not necessarily need to be protected by patents in order to be licensed to commercial third parties and/or to generate revenue. If you have research tools that you believe to be valuable, or wish to provide to others (including research collaborators), the Office of Research Commercialization will work with you to develop the appropriate protection, licensing, and distribution strategy.
  • How do I submit an Invention Disclosure Form (IDF)?
    • The invention Disclosure form is completed and submitted electronically at the Online Innovator’s Portal for Disclosure (go.ncsu.edu/disclosure)
    • New invention disclosures are assigned as they are received to an ORC licensing associate.
    • If you have any questions, call the Office of Research Commercialization at 919.515.7199 or email us at commercialization@ncsu.edu.
  • Learn more about submitting an invention disclosure, how to determine if your discovery is an invention, and who is considered an inventor in our Innovator’s Guide to Commercialization.
  • What is an “NC State Startup Company”?
    • The NC State Office of Research Commercialization (ORC) defines a startup company according to the AUTM definition which are “companies that were dependent upon licensing the institution’s technology for initiation”. Essentially in order to be considered a startup company according to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) the company must have secured either an Option Agreement or a License Agreement for rights to the technology. The Option Agreement or a License Agreement formalizes the relationship between the University (licensor) and the startup company (licensee) by conferring the rights for the innovation.

NC State University Resources:

Additional Resources – Web Links:

Some of the top reasons that startup companies fail include:

  • The startup does not understand the market and where they should direct their focus
  • The startup does not clearly understand the difference between their customers and the decision makers
  • The startup does not understand how much their prospective customers are willing to pay for their ultimate solution
  • The startup underestimates the extent and level of their competition
  • (there are many more reasons but they will not be discussed under the Market Assessment Phase)

During this phase the university innovator will:

Conduct a market assessment. The process of market assessment includes:

Additional Resources – Videos

Additional Resources – Documents

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

NC State University Resources

  • NC State NSF I-Corps Site Program
    • NC State’s I-Corps Site provides an introduction to customer discovery and market assessment for faculty and students interested in learning more about their target market
  • NC State Libraries: Markets & Advertising
    • Corporate membership: $500 per year, plus $50 per borrowing card
    • Individual membership: $100 per year, plus $50 for a borrowing card

Additional Resources – Web Links

Additional Resources – Books

  • Traversing the Valley of Death: A practical guide for corporate innovation leaders
    Written by: Stephen K. Markham
  • Research to Revenue
    Written by: Don Rose and Cam Patterson
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup
    Written by: Bill Aulet
  • The Four Steps to the Epiphany
    Written by: Steve Blank
  • The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets
    Written by: Brant Cooper, Patrick Vlaskovits
  • The Ultralight Startup: Launching a Business Without Clout or Capital
    Written by: Jason Baptiste
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    Written by: Eric Ries
  • One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work
    Written by: Stephen Key

Building a Business Model

The business model is the heart of the venture. Put simply, how will this business make money?

It takes time to build a complete business model. Care must be given to really understand the voice of the customer.

It takes even more time and resources to develop a defensible business plan. Generally, startups are in search of a business model that works (one that can sustain the company) and if the company survives and gains traction, a business plan will be necessary for attracting funding.  The NC State Office of Research Commercialization supports completing a business model canvas as a first step to determining the business model that will make sense for the company.

In addition, when a Startup Company in which an NC State employee holds an ownership interest makes a proposal to Office of Research Commercialization requesting to option or license intellectual property, the Startup Company will be required to provide Office of Research Commercialization with a business plan or business model canvas that includes the following information: value proposition; customers; key partners, activities, and resources; cost structure and revenue streams; and milestones for product development and commercialization.

During this phase the university innovator will:

  • Complete a Business Model Canvas (BMC) with the support of Office of Research Commercialization’s New Ventures Team
  • File a complete Notice of Intent within the University’s PackPortal System
    • Complete a Conflict-of-Interest(COI) update (if requested by the university innovator’s approving chain)
    • Complete a Conflict-of-Interest Management Plan (if requested by the university innovator’s approving chain)

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

Additional Resources – Videos

I-CORPS Faculty Toolkit 

Additional Resources – Web Links

Additional Resources – Books

  • Traversing the Valley of Death: A practical guide for corporate innovation leaders
    Written by: Stephen K. Markham
  • Research to Revenue
    Written by: Don Rose and Cam Patterson
  • The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets
    Written by: Brant Cooper, Patrick Vlaskovits
  • The Ultralight Startup: Launching a Business Without Clout or Capital
    Written by: Jason Baptiste
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    Written by: Eric Ries
  • The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s Most Exclusive School for Startups
    Written by: Randall Stross
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup
    Written by: Bill Aulet

During this phase the university innovator will:

Form a company.  Deciding to move forward and create a startup company is a turning point. It has ramifications, consequences and responsibilities. In fact, you are now bringing a new legal entity into the world and it is important to understand and respect the differences between the company and you as an individual. You must be able to understand and draw the line between the company from yourself as an individual in that company.  As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to ensure that your company follow all applicable laws and operate as a responsible corporate citizen.The venture formation phase involves:

During this phase the startup will meet with the Office of Research Commercialization and begin to complete a business model canvas and review the Venture Development process to develop other aspects of the startup to better position them as the potential licensee for attaining the technology license from Office of Research Commercialization.  Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the startup will get the license they want.  If Office of Research Commercialization decides that the startup company is the best possible licensee, negotiations with Office of Research Commercialization for a license could take several weeks to many months. However, some negotiations may only take a few days if both parties can agree to terms easily.

Important Considerations

Online formation tools are not a recommended strategy. While expedient and potentially cost-effective in the short-term they can lead to mistakes that will prove to be very costly  in the long-term.

NC State University Resources

Additional Resources – Videos

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

Additional Resources – Books

  • Dead on Arrival: How to Avoid the Legal Mistakes That Could Kill Your Start-Up
    Written by: Roger Royse
  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
    Written by: Guy Kawasaki
  • Traversing the Valley of Death: A practical guide for corporate innovation leaders
    Written by: Stephen K. Markham
  • Research to Revenue
    Written by: Don Rose and Cam Patterson
  • Start Your Own Corporation: Why the Rich Own Their Own Companies and Everyone Else Works for Them (Rich Dad Advisors)
    Written by: Garrett Sutton
  • A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs
    Written by Rob Adams
  • Build the Fort: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10-year-old Can Set You Up for Startup Success
    Written by Chris Heivly, The Startup Factory
  • The Startup Hats: Master the Many Roles of the Entrepreneur
    Written by David Gardner, Cofounders Capital
  • Nail It Then Scale It – The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation
    Written by Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom
  • Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers
    Written by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

Working with Office of Research Commercialization

During this phase the startup company will primarily be working with the Licensing Associate from Office of Research Commercialization that is assigned as the case manager for the technology that is to be licensed. To find out who your case manager is you can use the Who Should I Contact? tool and look under “I have questions about Invention Disclosures”. The case manager that is responsible for invention disclosures for the given technology type, will also be the licensing contact.You will have to have an approved Notice of Intent disclosure (typically approved by your Department Head and Associate Dean for Research) before the license or option agreement can be executed by Office of Research Commercialization.

NOI Resources

How does the flow of money work from the startup to the university to the inventors?

  • Milestone fee at acquisition
  • MAR
  • Milestone Payments
  • Running Royalty
  • Sub-licensing
  • Patent costs

NC State University Resources

The Office of Research Commercialization staff is your primary resource for this phase.

Additional Resources – Videos

Additional Resources – Web Links

USPTO Intellectual Property Awareness Assessment Tool

Additional Resources – Books

  • Dead on Arrival: How to Avoid the Legal Mistakes That Could Kill Your Start-Up
    Written by: Roger Royse
  • Start Your Own Corporation: Why the Rich Own Their Own Companies and Everyone Else Works for Them (Rich Dad Advisors)
    Written by: Garrett Sutton

Additional Resources – Documents

  • Startup Template License – this template license is available for your review to learn about the legal language but does not contain financial terms, due to the vast differences in technology types emerging from NC State.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does the licensing process look like?
    • Typically a startup license can be completed through three meetings. The first meeting will be to hear from the inventor/startup team about what technology they are looking to license and why are they interested in creating a company, as well as to orient the team to Office of Research Commercialization’s process. The second meeting will be to discuss terms of the license and the third meeting is usually to answer any final questions about terms and finish negotiations.
    • The meetings usually involve the inventor(s) and any startup company team members, the licensing associate responsible for that college, and a representative from Venture Development.
  • What is typically licensed?
    • It can be exclusive or nonexclusive rights to patents, know how, tangible property, trademarks, and/or copyrights.
  • What should I pay careful attention to in the licensing language?
    • Make sure that you understand and agree with the definitions section (i.e. “Goods and Services”, “Net Revenue”, etc.)
  • What will reporting look like?
    • When and how do you submit reports and payments will be detailed in the license agreement under the “Reports” section, in addition ORC makes an extra effort by holding a post-license meeting with the staff from the office that you will be engaging with (reporting, financial, license, venture development) and provides a condensed “cheat sheet” summarizing the important reporting and financial obligation dates.
  • How long will the licensing process take?
    • If ORC decides that the  company is the best possible licensee, negotiations with the ORC for a license could take several weeks to several months. However, some negotiations may only take a few days if both parties can agree to terms easily. The Office of Research Commercialization strives to complete the licensing process within 45 days from the date of the first meeting.
  • Can you share an example license/option agreement?
    • After the initial meeting with Office of Research Commercialization and discussing the startup company,
  • What are the typical terms of the startup license?
    • Upfront fee/License fee
    • Equity
    • Stock
      • Under current UNC policies, inventors who are cofounders are not eligible to share in the University portion of liquidated equity
    • Ghost Equity, promise to pay, major transaction fee, milestone fee
    • Running royalty
    • Minimum Annual Royalties
    • Designed to incentivize commercialization
    • Patent costs
      • Ongoing Patent Costs – Ask for approximate schedule
      • Past patent expenses – Can be deferred one year and then broken up into a structured repayment plan to conserve the critical early cash of the startup
    • Sales Milestones
      • Development Milestones
      • Company Milestones (e.g. Series A Funding, SBIR/STTR Award,
      • Product
    • Should be tied to milestones that will generate cash flow for company

Important Considerations

The key consideration is the relationship between the licensee and the Office of Research Commercialization (licensor).  Securing technology rights is simply the first step as you begin down the path of building a startup company, potentially licensing additional technologies, sponsoring research back to the University, needing to amend a license term or date for any number of reasons, filing reports, making financial payments in accordance with the licensing terms, or any number of other requests that the startup might engage with Office of Research Commercialization about. The relationship between the startup and Office of Research Commercialization should be viewed as a long-term one. It is important to keep this in mind and act accordingly.

During this phase the university innovator will:

  • Work with the New Ventures team to develop the brand print for the startup company based on the value proposition
    • Logo Creation
    • Color Scheme
    • Website Creation
  • Provide company information for New Ventures to make appropriate connections to the Venture Innovation Partner (VIP) Network
  • Work with New Ventures on news stories and company announcements
  • Join the New Ventures LinkedIn Group
  • Follow the Office of Research Commercialization Twitter account to stay updated on funding and partnering opportunities
  • Work with media partners as appropriate (RESULTS Magazine, University Communications, Triangle Business Journal (TBJ), HQ Raleigh, Exit Event, and other media partners as appropriate)
  • Partner with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) Tech Venture or Life Sciences Conferences as appropriate
  • Utilize HQ Raleigh co-working space

It is very important to be found, and increasingly this is through the web, and using a mobile device.  The startup company has worked hard to develop a viable business model, form the company and license the technology from the University. Now you are looking to attract talent, potentially investors, and ultimately customers.

New Ventures Services:

ORC’s New Ventures Team will work with the startup company to develop the brand print for the startup company based on the value proposition

  • Logo Creation
    • Is it Unique?
    • Is it Memorable?
    • Is it Conceptual?
    • Does it work in Black and White?
    • Is it Scalable?
  • Color Scheme
    • Did you construct a mood board?
  • Website Creation
    • How can we create an easy to update website that scales across all devices and browsers

NC State University Resources

One of the main benefits of being an “NC State Startup Company” is the ability to partner with the universities’ communication partners for increased visibility. Listed below are some of the university communication partners:

  • Office of Research Commercialization Communications
  • Office of Research and Innovation
  • University Communications
  • RESULTS Magazine
  • College Magazines and websites

Additional Resources – Videos

Brand, brand print and personal and startup company visibility:

Additional Resources – Web Links

 

Additional Resources – Documents

Innovate Raleigh 2014 Summit Report

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

Recruiting Mentors & Advisors

Executives-in-Residence (XIR) Program

The Executives-in-Residence (XIR) Program at NC State was designed specifically to match qualified and interested strategic partners, investors, and serial entrepreneurs to NC State startup companies. The XIR Program is managed by the New Ventures team and is made available by invitation only. NC State XIRs come from alumni, serial entrepreneurs, business executives, professional service providers and investors and we rely heavily on recommendations from our existing group of XIRs for others to join.

If you are interested in becoming an XIR, please email Chris Martinez.

NC State University Resources

The NC State Alumni Entrepreneurs Network mission is to improve entrepreneurship within the business and academic communities by fostering collaboration between alumni entrepreneurs, NC State and students. We believe there is incredible value in pairing together the new business founder, the seasoned entrepreneur and NC State.  The Alumni Entrepreneurs is an organization for current or previous business founders looking to become more involved with entrepreneurship at NC State.

The NC State Poole College of Management Entrepreneurship Clinic operates the eClinic, which is located in HQ Raleigh and a co-working space in downtown Raleigh that is home to a growing community of entrepreneurs. Inspired by the hospital teaching model that integrates research, teaching and real world experience, the eClinic is embedding entrepreneurship students in the entrepreneurial community and engaging them in experiential learning. Aided by their faculty members, the students will provide consulting services to area startups and fuel new applied research in entrepreneurship and commercialization.

Additional Resources – Videos

Additional Resources – Web Links

How a Little Mentorship, Teamwork and 54 Hours Can Turn an Idea into Startup Magic

Additional Resources – Books

  • Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business
    Written by: Chris Ducker

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), the largest and oldest entrepreneurial support organization in the country offers their CED Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) (licensed from MIT since 2011). This service matches entrepreneurs with skilled, experienced professionals for ongoing mentoring and enables startups to scale and create concrete actions plans. VMS is a free program where applications are accepted monthly.

Identifying Needs and Making Decisions

There are several critical decisions to be made at the onset of the company’s launch for NC State Innovators:

  • What is the purpose of the startup?
  • What is the extent of their involvement in the company?
  • How will the conflicts between your roles at the University and your company interests be managed?
  • How much time does the University innovator have to dedicate to this startup effort?
    • What will be competing for the innovators time during the first two years?
  • What are the skill sets of the NC State Innovator(s) and are they the required skill sets to launch a company, attract funding, manage employees, and run the business in compliance with existing laws and regulations?

In the early days it might be necessary for NC State Innovator(s) to have positions within the startup company in order to build enough value or market traction in order to attract the proper leadership team. Ideally, the leadership team should be full time external people that are experienced in startup formation and growth and have experience in the particular industry sector.

Forming an Advisory Board

Need a balanced and diverse team with good chemistry.

Forming a Board of Directors

  • Typically the Board of Directors should be limited to 5 people
  • Board of Directors should be people who add value and connections

Additional Resources – Videos

Additional Resources – Web Links

How to Be Startup CEO

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

Additional Resources – Books

Assessing Needs and Locating Resources

NC State University Resources

Additional Resources – Videos

Additional Resources – Web Links

Additional Resources – Books

  • Winning SBIR/STTR Grants: A Ten Week Plan for Preparing Your NIH Phase I Application Paperback
    Written by Eva R. Garland Ph.D.
  • Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup
    Written by: Brad Feld, David Cohen

Important Considerations

Business Questions to Address

Use of Facilities

The Office of Research Commercialization offers:

  • Discount wet lab and office space to the NC State Incubator
  • Free co-working space at HQ Centennial and HQ Raleigh

NC State University Resources

One of the main benefits of launching a startup company from NC State is the access to the following resources:

  • HQ Centennial Office Space
  • HQ Raleigh Shared Coworking Space
  • Specialized Equipment & Labs
  • Facility Use Agreements
  • NCSU Tech Incubator

NC State Use of University Facilities (REG 07.25.11) Policy

Additional Resources – Documents

Facility Use Agreement Form

Additional Resources – Videos

Invest in Great People and Great Equipment – Not Furniture!, Frank Levinson

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who sets the rates for facility use?
    • Ultimately the Department Head sets the rate.

Seeking Funding

NC State Funding Resources

External Financial Resources

Additional Resources – Web Links

Triangle Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), the largest and oldest entrepreneurial support organization in the country, offers a Connections to Capital program that assists startups in finding funding to scale. Connections to Capital works with a company to find and connect the venture with investors that meet the needs of the company. The program also includes educational services such as practice investor pitches.

Important Considerations

To qualify as an accredited investor, one must meet one of the three following criteria:

  1. Have had an individual annual income of $200,000 for the past two years with an expectation that it will continue
  2. Have had a household annual income of $300,000 for the past two years with an expectation that it will continue
  3. Have a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding a primary residence