A wide range of services and activities are available to help in the launch and early development of companies based on our technology. Some focus on the particular needs of student entrepreneurs.
Tech Transfer provides expertise and resources to nurture and develop new company ideas and to connect entrepreneurs and other members of the business and venture communities to opportunities at U-M. These include:
- The Venture Center employs a team of experienced entrepreneurs in its Mentors-in-Residence program to assist in assessing technology and assisting in start-up projects with advice, talent, and funding connections, and active venture creation resources.
- The Venture Center also leverages relationships with more than 250 premier venture capital firms and angel groups to connect them with U-M start-up investment opportunities.
- The Venture Accelerator provides state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment, and offices for U-M companies emerging from the pipeline of U-M start-ups, as part of a full suite of services and resources offered at the U-M Venture Center.
- Catalyst is a talent resource network that connects entrepreneurs and other parties with U-M’s technology and venture opportunities.
Under the Michigan Investment in New Technology Startups Program, U-M invests up to $1 million of university funds in start-ups based on U-M technology, after they have secured initial funding from a qualified venture capital firm.
“Gap” funds from the proceeds of U-M Tech Transfer central administration revenues, matched by state-funded programs, are used to address key commercialization issues. These gap funds are deployed in concert with “translational research” investments from these sources:
- College of Engineering Technology Development Fund offers awards of up to $50,000 to later-stage research activities related to translational research proof of concept.
- Coulter Foundation Translational Research Fund provides translational funding to 4–8 new biomedical engineering projects a year at up to $100,000 per project.
- The Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) Pilot Grant Program awards $50,000 to $250,000 for bench to bedside and bedside to practice translational research.
For students, the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Zell-Lurie Institute jointly manage the TechArb Student Accelerator. With the aid of community leaders and professional investors and funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research, TechArb helps U-M students launching early-stage companies develop their ideas and business plans, and eventually showcase teams to funders.
Three student-run Venture Funds—the $5.5 million early-stage Wolverine Venture Fund, the five-year-old pre-seed Frankel Commercialization Fund, and the newest, the first student-run Social Venture Fund—support emerging businesses.