Why universities should lead the future of venture capitalism

Dive Brief:

  • New research from University of South Florida vice president of economic development Paul Sanberg suggests that colleges and universities should be more aggressive in developing startup projects on and around campus, which can lead to great gains in revenue and positive development of institutions.
  • Published in a recent edition of Technology and Innovation, the paper lists16 international programs at institutions which support startup business with grants which can total more than $33,000 in initial funding.
  • The study also suggests that schools look beyond standard ROI metrics to measure success. Job creation, a number of contracts, and additional funding could be metrics of success for university-backed businesses.

Dive Insight:

Most institutions have standard patent and intellectual property agreements with faculty members for inventions and discoveries, and these are often explicit in nature for revenue sharing and credits. But then there are stories like Under Armour, which grew to national prominence after the founder secured its first major contract with the athletic department of his alma mater, the University of Maryland.

Fostering startup culture extends the university’s brand into communities and industries and positions schools to build revenue streams from non-traditional sources. If schools commit to offering office space, technology and telecommunications for a nominal renting fee or revenue sharing agreement, this positions the business auxiliary office as an unofficial holder of multiple holdings and areas where students can learn and from which donors can be cultivated.

Filed Under: Higher Ed
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