University of Minnesota
Office for Technology Commercialization

Office for Technology Commercialization homeOTC

For Entrepreneurs

Researcher Entrepreneur Startups

Researchers are a key ingredient to the successful commercialization of technology developed through their research programs. In cases where University of Minnesota researchers are interested in commercializing their technology by starting a new company, the Venture Center recommends following a process established for such purposes.

While a startup may involve higher risks compared to licensing a technology to an existing company, it also offers the potential for higher returns. Due to the level of risk inherent in startup businesses, we strongly encourage researchers to work with the Venture Center to evaluate the risk versus reward as part of pursuing this path.

Researchers can play different roles within a startup, so we suggest the researchers decide how much they would like to be involved with the startup before beginning the startup process.

Researcher Entrepreneur Process

All researchers, who plan to use intellectual property they invented, need to disclose that intellectual property to OTC before following the process listed below.

Researchers who have the desire to be a part of a new company that furthers the technology to the point of selling a product or service to an end user should review the following steps:

1. Contact OTC through a Technology Strategy Manager and express interest in a startup

+ Visit our Technology Marketing Site to see available technologies

2. Complete startup Application and Feasibility study

+ Learn more about the startup Application

3. Meet with appropriate Office for Technology Commercialization staff for initial application review

4. Work with the Venture Center to form a team (including advisors and CEOs-in-Residence) to develop business plan

+ Learn more about Business Plans

5. Meet with Office for Technology Commercialization staff to review business plan

6. Update Report of External Professional Activities (REPA) because of potential individual conflict of interest

+ Learn more about REPA

7. Negotiate business terms (performance and financial milestones, capitalization table, etc...)

8. Negotiate IP license terms (exclusive/non-exclusive, minimum payments, royalties, equity, etc...)

+ Learn more about License Agreement Definitions and Documents

9. Form new company

10. Execute license to startup company

Please contact for more information.

More Information

"The deep industry experience of the OTC staff meant that they understood exactly what was necessary for a startup to succeed in a difficult financing environment. As a result, my transaction with the University of Minnesota was handled in a professional and timely manner."


Rob Cohen
President & CEO, Miromatrix Medical