Author Archives: Dr. Don


The official publication date of the book was January 15th and we’ve been busy getting the word out. Here are some links for the book:

UNC Press


Book Website

Also, we’ve put together a presentation that walks through the chapters of the book (here). The initial reviews have been good:

Startups are not new to university technology transfer professionals, but there is more and more focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and startups in academia. The continued pressure to launch and support university startups has created complexities and support programs that, at some levels, become overwhelming to first time entrepreneurs and seasoned executives alike. This book not only defines a general format through which startups are pushed out of the relative comfort of the university, but also creates a guide to help avoid common pitfalls in spinning out companies. Research to Revenue is everything a startup support team needs to know and it is very helpful in understanding most aspects of assisting new business formation.–Jack Miner, Director, New Ventures, U of Michigan
Don Rose and Cam Patterson have crafted a clear, useful, thorough, readable, objective, and realistic guide to commercializing university research, especially via start-up companies.  It’s a must-read for technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurial faculty members, research administrators, early-stage venture investors, and others involved in this complex but important process.  Perhaps more importantly, as a 28-year practitioner of university technology transfer and commercialization, I highly recommend that university presidents, boards of trustees, and government policy makers focused on innovation-based economic development read this book.–Mark Crowell, Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and past president, Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)
Here’s a blog post/interview about the book posted by University Industry Innovation Network.

The Faculty Founder – Management Team Relationship

A university startup, in the early days, typically has a small team, usually one or more faculty who were involved in the founding of the company and several lead management and business people (President, CEO, CSO, VP Business Development or R&D) who may or may not have been involved in the founding of the company. Given the early stage of the company, team chemistry is paramount for the venture to be successful. Sometimes, however, the chemistry is less than optimal leading to conflicts which can then lead to a more serious problems of stagnation of company growth, splitting up the team, or folding of the company.  Let’s examine the elements of the relationships between the scientific founders and the startup management team.

Continue reading

Filling the Talent Gap for University Startups: Graduate Students and Post-Docs

The Problem: The Talent Gap

University startups are typically built around a technology or discovery from faculty research. As the startup forms, it needs a number of critical elements to in increase the likelihood for success. While a significant amount of attention is focused on gap funding for the early-stage startup, of equal and perhaps more importance is bringing talent into the company. The talent required for university startup falls into to domains: technical and business. Continue reading

EIR Programs and Other Ways of Engaging Outside Experts

Orin Herskowitz, from the tech transfer office at Columbia University, recently published an overview the Columbia’s Executive-in-Residence (XIR) program along with data from similar programs at 26 other universities. These programs, also referred to as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) programs, help to bring expertise in-house for various purposes but the general theme is to provide input, advice, connections related to the commercialization of technology. Continue reading

Why Commercialize University Research?

When I left private enterprise and came to the university, I was confronted with this question. The question isn’t should universities commercialize their research but rather why? The should question has explored in another post. As I explored the why question, it became clear that the answer depended on who was being asked. So these are the answers I got. Continue reading

Should Universities Commercialize Research?

I’ve been reading Daniel Greenberg’s book Science for Sale: The Perils, Rewards, and Delusions of Campus Capitalism. It raises a number of issues around universities and their role in commercializing inventions discovered through scientific research. Continue reading