This is part of my [David B. Lerner] ongoing series on University Entrepreneurship.
As I sometimes like to say- if the licensing side of the university tech transfer business is 29 years old by now, the practice of spinning-out companies based on university intellectual property is still really a teenager. The field is still young enough such that no one has written the definitive book on its application and in the meantime the field simply continues to evolve and grow at a stunning pace. And, like any teenager worth his or her salt, this form of university entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly boisterous, ambitious, somewhat unruly at times and yet is displaying enormous creativity, energy and imagination. As I approach the beginning of my fifth year in this field and with the benefit of having spun-out almost 50 university startups during this period, I have taken a moment to reflect on what I have seen and am seeing occur.
According to AUTM statistics, American universities are now spinning-off companies based on university intellectual property at a clip approaching 600 per year. In addition, as demonstrated in a recent white-paper authored by a team led by MIT's legendary Ed Roberts, this number of 600 per year is actually dwarfed by the thousands of other companies being launched each year by university entrepreneurs forming companies of their own that are not based on their university's intellectual property. Another important development is the well-known fact that as the costs of launching a company continue to decrease due to the advent of cloud computing and the like- so has it steadily become much easier for university-age students to try their hand at entrepreneurship.
Original Article: David B. Lerner: The Coming Entrepreneurial Tidal Wave: University Entrepreneurship 2.0