The State of Colorado has identified biosciences as a key sector for job growth over the next generation. As the researchers at the University of Colorado discover new technology, the Technology Transfer Office works to commercialize the inventions through several organizations throughout Colorado that seek to identify entrepreneurs interested in creating a business. The Boulder Innovation Center is one of these organizations.
A stated purpose of the BIC is to “deliver cost-effective business incubation across key industry sectors that hold the most promise for the local community and the nation’s economic future using its hand-selected team of mentors and advisors”. As a biotechnology industry advisor I volunteer my time to participate in meetings and am able to preview some very cool science. It provides a way for me to give back to the community and use my experience to assist other entrepreneurs.
The BIC acts as the facilitator and provides a forum for scientists to get feedback from industry veterans as they progress towards commercializing their inventions. The TTO’s primary objective is to work to protect the intellectual property of the invention and to determine when an idea is ripe to enter the licensing process.
While the topic of every conversation eventually gets down to funding (there is never enough money) there are many other interim steps discussed that can help scientists begin to focus on a new business venture. Advice can come in the form of simply providing a critical ear for the pitch itself, or be more directed in nature as in challenging potential development pathways.
Efforts like that of the BIC are critical to the success of new company formation. A shout out to Executive Director Tim Bour and to Tim Prodanovich, in particular, for facilitating the bioscience effort.