Seminar series: Launching startups around U research

Interested in expanding the impact of your research, but unsure how to make it happen?

An upcoming event series hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Venture Center will help researchers demystify the process of launching a startup company to bring their discoveries beyond the lab and into the marketplace. The Venture Center, part of the Office for Technology Commercialization, invites University faculty, staff, postdocs and grad students who are involved in research to attend these free events.

“Startups are a great way for University researchers to bring their inventions to life,” said Russ Straate, associate director of the Venture Center. “These seminars allow them to understand what their role is in launching a new company around their technology and give them the knowledge they need to help the whole process go smoothly.”

Previous Venture Center seminars have been helpful for many researchers, Straate added, and have helped catalyze the center’s growth in startup activity. The center launched a record 16 startups based on University technology in fiscal 2015.

How to get involved in a startup

The first seminar, to be held on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. in McNamara Alumni Center, will focus on how researchers can get involved in a startup. Attendees will learn about the role University inventors play in startup companies from a panel of experts that represent both researchers whose work has resulted in a startup company and experienced entrepreneurs who have led them.

The panelists in the discussion are:

  • Przemyslaw Bajer, Ph.D., research assistant professor of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology with the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and CEO of U startup Carp Solutions
  • Allison Hubel, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering with the College of Science and Engineering and CEO of startup MesoFlow
  • Bill Murray, president and CEO of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium and board member of MesoFlow
  • Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, Ph.D., professor of computer science and engineering with CSE and developer of the core intellectual property behind startup Recon Robotics
  • Brian Van Ness, Ph.D., professor of genetics, cell biology and development with the College of Biological Science and president of startup Target Genomics

The panel will be moderated by Doug Ramler, an attorney with law firm Gray Plant Mooty, who specializes in providing organizational, finance, governance and contractual support to startups and emerging companies. Attendees will enjoy complementary refreshments and networking time after the discussion.

The event is open to all U faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students who are interested in learning more about startups. Researchers do not need to have an existing invention or idea for a startup to attend. Register here. The event is sponsored by Gray Plant Mooty, CliftonLarsonAllen and Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner.

Upcoming seminars

The Venture Center Startup Seminar series includes events on the following Wednesdays:

  • Dec. 2, 2015: Faculty experience in a startup
  • Feb. 3, 2016: Financing a startup
  • Apr. 6, 2016: Working with an entrepreneur

Contact the Venture Center at venture@umn.edu with questions or for more information.