Commercializing your innovation is the most common way to see your invention reach the masses to achieve its intended societal benefit. However, filing an invention disclosure, obtain a patent or get a copyright doesn’t guarantee that your innovation will be a success in the market. There are multiple influences that impact the commercial success of a product in the market, and the Innovation Institute can take you through the process of evaluating your commercial opportunity and further developing your go-to-market-strategy.

University innovations can be taken to market in multiple ways. Some of the decision factors will depend on the availability of potential industry partners, your (or team members) interest in entrepreneurship and the market-readiness of your innovation. Your preferred path to market may be clear from the onset based on your personal objectives or may be determined through the course of the commercialization efforts.

The most common paths to market at the University include:

  • Licensing the technology to an industry partner. Existing commercial entities across all industries often times turn to Universities to help them further extend product lines or help accelerate R&D efforts. For early stage discoveries, industry partners may first invest additional funding into the research to get it closer to commercialization.
  • Licensing the technology to an existing startup company. A startup company may be interested in taking on a technology that compliments their product or strengthens their value proposition.
  • Creating a startup company to take the innovation to market. For some innovations, it may be a great opportunity to form a company to go to market. Universities, including Pitt, spinout companies around technologies on a regular basis. This may be an excellent opportunity for a faculty or student with an interest in being an entrepreneur, or may be a good fit for a business mentor or local executive with successful startup experience.

The Innovation Institute’s Pitt Ventures program deploys a multi-phased approach involving a strong coalition of partners and an innovative multi-stage, or “Gear” commercialization process that supports Pitt innovators from idea to commercialization.

The Pitt Ventures Commercialization Process

 

Commercialization Process

 

Through these gears, “virtual startups” are created on campus and facilitated by Innovation Institute personnel.  These “virtual startups” are typically composed of the innovator, entrepreneurial students involved with the innovations and outside business mentors.

Through Pitt Ventures the Innovation Institute has created a series of programs that take inventors and entrepreneurs through each gear of the commercialization process to ensure a higher likelihood of commercial success. The process helps you to define your business model and assess relevant market dynamics that will help shape your commercialization strategy. In the end, you will decide how you want to pursue the licensing of your innovation to get it to market. There are multiple ways a University innovation can be taken to market and a variety of factors that influence this decision.

University innovations can be taken to market in multiple ways. Some of the decision factors will depend on the availability of potential industry partners, your (or team members) interest in entrepreneurship and the market-readiness of your innovation. Your preferred path to market may be clear from the onset based on your personal objectives or may be determined through the course of the commercialization efforts.

To take your innovation to market, apply to the First Gear program today or contact Jennifer Ireland at jireland@innovation.pitt.edu to learn more.