Changes have come to technology transfer at the University of Rochester. As of 21 October 2013, OTT is now UR Ventures. We are changing more than our name – we are changing our focus. Traditional thinking in technology transfer is to concentrate primarily on patent generation to protect potentially valuable ideas, often with limited proactive effort to develop or market the technology. In other words, this approach runs the risk of making patent prosecution all-important. The issued patent can become the goal, rather than the development of innovation from the laboratory to the marketplace.

At UR Ventures, we are adopting a technology-centered project management approach, focusing on getting each discovery to the finish line as quickly and efficiently as possible. We seek to identify and procure the resources necessary to get each discovery to the public . . . or to define the gaps and missing resources standing in the way of success. If the obstacles prove insurmountable, we want to arrive at that conclusion as quickly and cheaply as possible.

UR Ventures sits at the nexus of academic research and the business world. Our function is to match our discoveries with businesses and investors that will be able to move them to market. Our challenge is to help develop, prove, and de-risk innovations within the University to a stage at which those businesses and investors can believe in them enough to carry them forward.

We have begun realigning some of our operation to accommodate this new approach, and more changes are coming. We look forward to the journey and hope that you’ll join us. For more information, please visit our web site at www.rochester.edu/ventures. There you will find links to all of our social media platforms.

2013 has been a banner year. In his State-of-the-State Address of 9 January, Governor Cuomo mentioned Technology Transfer by name. (Transcript of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State Address, specifically paragraphs 11 & 12). Okay. The Governor actually called our profession “tech-transfer” (twice) but he did explain what we do quite succinctly. He mentioned New York State’s lack of VC funding as one of the gaps we need to fill. In his address, the Governor strongly put forward the idea of “innovation hotspots” that are currently being discussed as an important end-of-the-legislative-term accomplishment that needs to get done in the next week, or so.

On Tuesday, President Obama announced plans to deter unhelpful patent litigation by legislating against non-practicing entities. In the common parlance, these NPEs are known as “patent trolls.” In fact, the White House press release uses the word “troll” no fewer than five times.

Articles have sprung up all over, with catchy titles like “Obama announces action against patent trolls” (World Intellectual Property Review), “Make Patent Trolls Pay in Court” (The New York Times), and “Obama wants to crack down on patent trolls. That’s not enough.” (The Washington Post). We will discuss the issue of non-practicing entries in another post.

For now, it’s simply a relief to have formerly esoteric topics such as patent trolls and, indeed, the entire discipline of technology transfer being openly discussed. Who knows where this will lead? A general and wide-spread understanding and awareness of technology transfer? Maybe even one day the e-mails announcing deals on servers and the telephone calls soliciting employment in the Information Technology Department will stop. But probably not.

LaunchPad Demo DayAfter an intensive three months of learning from potential customers and constantly refining their business models, the twelve software teams in the HTR LaunchPad program are ready to show off the fruits of their labors.

Adapted and brought to the Rochester area by High Tech Rochester and funded by the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, the LaunchPad is an entirely new way to vet, validate and improve the way businesses are created.

A key premise of the HTR LaunchPad is that software start-ups are not yet businesses; rather, they are entrepreneurs with ideas that must be validated through extensive customer discovery and learning.

Demo Day begins at 4:00 pm with a networking event among Rochester’s vibrant entrepreneur, investor, and general business community.  In addition, each team will have a display table in the Geva lobby, where they’ll preview their new software-based businesses.

At 5:00 pm, each team will formally present their business story and description of their software innovation, backed by Power Point visuals and/or a live hook-up to show the software in action.

The LaunchPad Demo Day will be moderated by Jeff Valentine, a partner at the private equity firm Exium Partners and recently involved with High Tech Rochester as a judge in the 2013 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest.  Jeff was CEO of Callfinity, a company he co-founded in Boston, moved to Rochester, grew by 500%, and sold to M5 Networks in 2011.  He is also an active angel investor with the Rochester Angel Network and advisor to local startups.

At 6:30 pm, networking resumes in the Geva lobby with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 4, 2013: 4:00 – 7:30 pm (program begins at 5:00 pm)

WHERE: Geva Theater, 75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester, NY 14607

Registration: Free and open to the public; registration requested.

Please Register Here


Vivek - Esophagus AnnouncementEsophageal adenocarcinoma is now the fastest growing form of cancer in the United States, but gastroenterologists at The Center for Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) have been using an innovative technology to detect precancerous cells in time to prevent disease progression.

The WATS3D computer-assisted brush biopsy takes a wide sample of tissue from the esophagus and then analyzes it using a 3-Dimensionial computer imaging system that is based on an algorithm developed as part of the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative missile defense program.  WATS3D stands for “Wide Area Transepithelial Sample.”

URMC Gastroenterologist Vivek Kaul, M.D., along with Gastroenterology Fellows Danielle Marino, M.D., and Donald Tsynman, M.D., today in Orlando, Fla., presented new research examining WATS3D at Digestive Disease Week®, the world’s largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Full Announcement

The Office of Technology Transfer, in cooperation with the Center for Entrepreneurship proudly present F.I.R.E. in May:

“IP Issues in Transactions”

Intellectual Property issues are pervasive in many kinds of transactions. This talk will provide a brief description of the various types of IP and focus on how these different forms may effect transactions and technology valuation.

Our presenter this month is Ralph Loren, a partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer. Ralph lectures around the country on a variety of patent, licensing and litigation topics, including arbitration issues. He was a part-time professor at Boston University School of Law, where he taught patent law.

Where: the Class of ’62 Auditorium (G-9425 & 1-9425)
When: Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 12:00 – 1:00 PM

A light lunch will be served following the presentation. Please contact David Englert, or call 585.276.6615 for more information or to register for this event.

Although the F.I.R.E. Series continues to be free and open to the public, a small fee for parking may apply (usually between $5 and $6). Registration would be appreciated by noon Monday, 13 May 2013.

Steve DewhurstStephen Dewhurst, Ph.D., has been named vice dean for research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. A faculty member since 1990 and past senior associate dean for basic research, Dewhurst will lead the School’s research strategic planning process and help advance its research priorities by identifying areas of excellence in which to make strategic investments; strengthening the research infrastructure; improving education and training; and promoting collaborations and alliances that will result in increased research funding.

The new position was recommended by a faculty-led strategic planning committee headed by Dirk Bohmann, Ph.D., and Lynne E. Maquat, Ph.D. As vice dean for research, Dewhurst will work closely with the senior associate deans for basic and clinical research, J. Edward Puzas, Ph.D., and Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., to accomplish these goals.

“There’s no doubt that this is a challenging time in science: Researchers are faced with an extremely competitive funding environment and a scientific landscape that is changing more rapidly than ever before,” said Mark B. Taubman, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “We take these issues very seriously and believe Steve will help leadership and faculty respond to these challenges. With a wide-ranging understanding of research and an outstanding track record of organizing successful institutional collaborations, he is the ideal candidate for the job.”

Full Announcement

TEN announcementEach year, 11 federal agencies set aside more than $2 billion to fund research and development at small businesses, through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Federal agencies issue solicitations to small companies, including start-ups, for proposals on specific research and product development.

Come to this seminar to learn how you can apply for SBIR and STTR grants to fund your research and new product development. Free to qualified small

Register for one or both sessions by Friday, April 26, 2013Call HTR’s Mike Riedlinger at 585.413.9061 or send him an e-mail.

What You Will Learn in SBIR Basics (morning session – 9:00 am to noon)
For any small business engaged in technology research and development

  • Overview of SBIR and STTR programs
  • How entrepreneurs, small businesses and academic researchers can tap into these funds
  • Meet area SBIR & STTR award winners that will share their experiences and proposal tips

What You Will Do in the Grant Writing Workshop (afternoon session 1:00 – 4:00 pm – bring a lap top or iPad)
For small businesses in the optics industry and others seeking and ready to write NSF SBIR grants

  • Search for open NSF grant topics
  • Outline a grant proposal
  • Enroll in the government’s system for grant submissions

Who Should Attend:

  • Entrepreneurs seeking to start a technology business
  • University researchers commercializing their technology
  • Phase I award winners planning a Phase II proposal
  • Past Phase I applicants who have not yet won an award

SBIR proposals are two times more likely to be funded when small businesses partner with a university or research institution. Meet technology commercialization and tech transfer officials from area universities and research institutions that partner with entrepreneurs and small businesses on these proposals.  

 Presenters at this seminar include:

  • NSF Grant Recipient – Victoria Van Voorhis, Second Avenue Software
  • Cindy Gary, University of Rochester
  • Mike Riedlinger, High Tech Rochester
  • Jean Kase, PTAC
  • Jack McGowan, Insyte Consulting
  • Drake Thomas, SBDC

The Entrepreneurs Network – TEN

Helping High-Growth Companies Succeed

Email: jeankase@ten-ny.org | Website: http://TEN-NY.org
Monroe County Office:  50 W Main Street, Ste 8100, Rochester, NY  14614 | Telephone:  585.753.2031
HTR Office:  150 Lucius Gordon Drive, Ste 100, W Henrietta, NY  14586 | Telephone:  585.214.2423


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