The University of Rochester Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) serves as the link between academic research and its commercial application. The OTT is constantly seeking new ways to collaborate with universities and companies all over the world. We believe that collaboration is the key to a successful technology transfer process and critical for developing discoveries to their fullest potential. Partnerships open doors to innovation, so when we were given the opportunity to take part in a new and exciting technology platform initiative called Innovocracy, we jumped at the chance to get involved.
Innovocracy was created to bridge the gap between powerful ideas and beneficial applications of those ideas. Co-founder of Innovocracy, Mike Totterman, explains in an interview with David Williams, of the Health Business Blog, that the platforms main goal is to provide crowd funding for academic research.
Innovocracy differs from other crowd funding methods in that they’re exclusively focused on donations rather than on the sale of equity. An Innovator begins by posting information about a specific project, which can come from any department within the university, and requests funding for that project. Funding requests are expected to range from $3,000 – $15,000, but no cap has been put on the amount one can request. Next, those interested in donating to the project can pledge any amount towards that goal. If the goal is reached, Innovocracy funds the project and charges the supporters for their contribution. If it is not met, then no funds are collected or distributed.
For those projects that receive funding, 90% of the money collected is distributed directly to the inventor through their educational institution. As mentioned above, Innovocracy does not negotiate equity transactions; the support is strictly made in the form of a donation with no strings attached.
Innovocracy has launched its first project, featuring research done at the University of Rochester. Daniel W. Mruzek (a psychologist and autism expert) and Stephen McAleavey (a biomedical engineer) have developed an innovative toilet-training procedure for use with children with Autism. For more information about this project please check out the Autism Page on the Innovocracy site.
Innovocracy plans to launch officially later this year and has already recruited four Launch Partners: the University of Rochester, RIT, Cornell, and Clarkson. Innovocracy will continue to build its network of institutions and supporters, and ultimately plans to be the platform of choice for individual support of academic innovation.
If you’re an institution of higher learning and interested in getting involved please visit the Innovocracy Website. If you’d like to become a supporter please check out the Autism project to learn more!