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An Integrated Model of University Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Education

University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer

ISBN: 978-0-76231-230-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-359-4

Publication date: 11 August 2005


We examine the challenges of commercialization of university-developed technology and the synergistic relationship of the university's technology transfer office with business-school-based entrepreneurship education programs. We postulate that business schools can effectively augment the university technology transfer office in developing and growing successful startups, through catalyzing the process of startup creation and by actively assisting in the formation of multi-disciplinary leadership teams for spinout companies. The assistance of the business school's alumni and entrepreneur networks can also be leveraged for both mentoring and investment. The challenges of an effective program include securing early marketing input, building effective leadership teams, negotiating the terms of technology licenses, and developing the enthusiasm and cooperation of faculty researchers. At Carnegie Mellon, we have developed an integrated entrepreneurship education program focused on opportunity recognition and strategy development, team building and leadership development, and resource acquisition and allocation. Our program actively assists in launching and supporting the resulting spinout companies by connecting entrepreneurs with value-added investors, support networks, and partners. In addition, we monitor and mentor the spinout companies through their startup and growth stages. Our program includes an aggressive cross-campus initiative in which we teach entrepreneurship courses in the science, engineering, and computer science schools (in addition to the business school) and conduct seminar series to reach faculty and graduate students within those areas of the university. We are aided in the program by the enlightened technology transfer policies that Carnegie Mellon adopted in 2001. The rationale and objectives of those policies are explained in a lengthy appendix. We illustrate the effectiveness of the model through discussion of three recent spinout companies. We conclude that university entrepreneurship education programs can significantly enhance the effectiveness of university technology transfer programs. To optimize that result, the entrepreneurship education program should extend beyond the walls of the business school and should actively assist in the creation of well thought-out business plans and the formation of well-balanced leadership teams actively monitored and mentored by the business school and its alumni and entrepreneur networks. Additionally, it is necessary to tailor the program to the specific character and needs of the region.


Boni, A.A. and Emerson, S.T. (2005), "An Integrated Model of University Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Education", Libecap, G.D. (Ed.) University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer (Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 241-274.



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