The lack of true early-stage capital and innovation developmental support is a major challenge in advancing promising university technology from the lab to commercial and investment partners.
Research institutions are leading through the implementation of university gap funding (proof of concept, startup, venture) and accelerator programs to bridge this “valley of death”. Over the past 15 years, these programs have evolved into sophisticated investment, evaluation, development, and commercialization support mechanisms to nurture the most promising opportunities in emerging, high-growth technology areas.
University Gap Fund and Accelerator Programs Support Commercialization of Tech and Startups
In our most recent Mind the Gap Report, covering 119 programs at 75 research institutions, we found that 97 reporting programs funded nearly 4,500 potential opportunities that resulted in 1,500 Commercialization Events (license to existing co, spinout) at 30%+ Commercialization Success Rate across the sample.
97 reporting programs funded nearly 4,500 potential opportunities that resulted in 1,500 Commercialization Events (license to existing co, spinout)
Leveraging University Gap Fund and Accelerator Programs for External Innovation and Investment
Citing the Mind the Gap Report, Companies and Investors put nearly $3.5B of first follow-on money into over 4,000 university opportunities. Taking advantage of the nearly $400M already invested from university-managed gap fund and accelerator programs.
Innovative Companies are Taking Notice
Innovative Companies are taking notice and making it a strategic, external innovation priority to partner with these university gap fund and accelerator programs through applied research, proof of concept projects, corporate venture investments, and advisory/mentorship in return for insights, competitive positioning, and access to future technology and startups
- Fill pipeline of technology/startups to fit into your innovation roadmap for both current and next-gen product categories
- Provide an external check against alternative approaches to solving tech challenges—as a compliment to other internal projects
- “Try before you buy” vs “wait, pray, and pay” approach to innovation through POC projects and startup accelerators
- Lock out competitors by pursuing technology upstream
- Gain thought-provoking insights through dialogue between university inventors and company engineers
- Access future talented engineering and business employees
Smart Investors are Taking Notice
Smart investors are taking notice and making it a strategic, early-stage investment priority to leverage these programs to access and secure their positions with high-potential startups.
- Firm or group insights into technology trends and emerging startups in thematic investment areas
- Demonstrate to your current/future fund investors that you are proactively pursuing unique, and high-potential investment opportunities
- Check against other investment opportunities/portfolio companies
- Participate in advisory and mentorship programs for first look technologies
The Future will belong to those companies and investors that take a proactive, holistic, relationship-based approach to external innovation and emerging investment opportunities.
The others will wait, pick over what’s left, and pay a premium.
Take advantage of the opportunity that exists by launching a strategy to partner with university gap fund and accelerator programs, today.