BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University faculty and staff at all campuses and regional academic centers who are interested in launching startups can now receive assistance and support through The Quarry, an entrepreneurial support mechanism launched by the IU Research and Technology Corp.
IURTC launched The Quarry to improve upon the services previously offered through the Spin Up program. Jason Whitney, IURTC’s manager of strategic partnerships, manages The Quarry.
“While evaluating the prior programming, we identified consistent needs related to developing the business case, identifying potential funding sources and recruiting long-term executive talent,” Whitney said. “The Quarry will focus on providing resources in those three key areas in addition to new opportunities in the future to eliminate pain points for IU entrepreneurs.”
The Quarry will leverage university assets, including the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund and the Innovate Indiana Fund, to assist entrepreneurs. It will also identify mentors, commercialization partners and customers at partner sites like Dimension Mill in Bloomington, the IoT Lab in Fishers, Union 525 in Indianapolis and WestGate@Crane Technology Park in Odon.
“The Quarry will offer assistance in writing SBIR grants and making pitches to venture capitalists,” Whitney said. “We are members of Midwest Executives-on-Roster, which connects high-tech startups with experienced leaders. We will also look to help MBAs graduating from the Kelley School of Business network with startups that seek quality leadership talent.”
The Quarry will connect with prospective IU entrepreneurs through the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office, which protects, markets and licenses intellectual property developed at IU. Whitney said requiring intellectual property disclosures to IU ICO is a good start to vetting prospective entrepreneurs.
“A major emphasis of The Quarry is evaluating the foundation of the prospective businesses. We want to ensure that launching a startup company is the best path to commercialization for the intellectual property,” Whitney said. “Working closely with our colleagues in the IU ICO helps identify outside licensing partners when appropriate. This may fast-track the product to market and allow our faculty members to continue doing more innovative research.”
Whitney said the launch of The Quarry ties in with the university’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan. One of the plan’s priorities is “Building a Prosperous and Innovative Indiana.”
“Among the action items for this priority is to provide relevant, contemporary expertise and services to IU entrepreneurs. The Quarry is organized to meet that goal,” Whitney said. “By providing support and assistance for innovative entrepreneurs, The Quarry provides for the commercialization of innovative research that impacts not only Indiana, but the world.”