Entrepreneurship and New Ventures
New ventures can generate substantial return on investment for Vanderbilt and contribute to the economic growth and diversification of the local, regional, and state economies. They also have the potential to provide employment opportunities for graduates and spouses of university employees. However, leading the formation and growth of a new venture is a formidable task for a university employee to undertake, and should be committed to only after careful consideration.
Entrepreneurial/New Venture Support
CTTC is positioned to assist inventors in making sound, market-driven decisions when determining whether to embark on an entrepreneurship pathway and, if the decision is made to move ahead, to improve the new venture’s odds of success.
If an inventor expresses an interest in creating a new company, we will sit down with him/her to vet the opportunity, investigating the many factors it takes to build a successful technology business. This vetting process includes evaluating issues related to (i) capital and technology development, (ii) regulatory hurdles and reimbursements, (iii) time to market, and (iv) competing products and companies. This vetting escalates from our internal review of the business opportunity to an external review by seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and other key opinion leaders and relevant experts.
Most projects will not pass the internal and external vetting process and pursuit of the opportunity will be halted. However, a few of those projects will become candidates for internal incubation, whereby development funds will be identified and translational research and risk mitigation will commence. Others will move into the more traditional marketing and licensing pathway.
For those projects that do advance, a more detailed market analysis will be conducted and we will work with the faculty member to create a preliminary working plan for the company. A team consisting of an entrepreneur, business student, technologist, advisor, and one or more members of the CTTC staff will be assembled to advance this planning stage. This stage will culminate in the formation and launch of the new venture.
Efforts will then focus on assembling the rest of the management team, raising capital, and finalizing the licensing agreement with Vanderbilt. From that point, the company is positioned as a stand-alone, independent entity – to which CTTC will continue to provide assistance as needed.