Everything starts with a clever idea. Be that a business idea that will form the foundation for a later start-up or a new technology, developed within the scope of an academic project. Frequently, such an idea constitutes an invention with real market potential. In this case, it is recommended to protect the “intellectual property” by way of an industrial patent, for instance.
On 10/06/2015, the practice-oriented event “From Invention to Innovation” for professional patent management for employees of the KIT was held again in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Technical and Environmental Training (FTU). Fourteen participants came together to receive advanced training on the topics of protection of intellectual property and technology utilization. The KIT Innovation Department (IMA) presented the services for transfer of technology at the KIT.
The half-day events of the program for advanced training (Wissensaufbau und Technologietransfer – Knowledge building and transfer of technology) of the KIT Founders Forge are directed toward inventions that can develop through protection, e.g., in the form of patents ranging to commercialization. Innovations are thus created via an orderly and stringent process that is accompanied by the IMA. Inventions find their way into the economy in the form of technology transfer projects, startups, and the related license agreements. Due to the special circumstances, a separate seminar component is devoted to the transfer of technology in spin-offs. A wide array of services as well as partners and specialists are presented on this topic. Thus, the participants receive a first view of the founding scene at the KIT, the challenges when starting a business, and an initial “gut feeling” of whether they could actually imagine founding their own company. The event was once again topped off with a get-together to discuss individual questions with contact partners of IMA.
The next “From Invention to Innovation” advanced training sessions have already been scheduled: 03/15/2016 and 10/04/2016. Mark your calendar or register directly at the FTU. You can find the seminar in the program using the FTU shorthand MB431.
For some years now, increasingly more startups in the life sciences sector emerge at the KIT, such as Amcure, Incella, Acquifer, Corvolution, or recently 300Microns. In this area there are highly exciting projects that, through their immediate international focus, have larger growth opportunities than a classic startup but are much more complex and thus also more labor intensive in the design phase.
While a technical or IT-based startup is mainly oriented on the market, a successful life sciences startup must also always act in the scientific field. Only those which are present at conferences and verifiably document results that were generated with the startup technology in scientific publications are perceived in the academic market, which is often the entry market.
The scientific founders therefore often remain in the academic field rather than transferring into the management of the startup company completely, which is otherwise usual. As co-founders, they assist in the advisory panel, the so-called Advisory Board, with product development, shape the corporate strategy, and support the acquisition of customers through their academic network.
The financing of life science startups is also a particular challenge. When laboratory tests for product development or manufacturing are required, the young company is going to incur high costs. Here, the KIT can help by providing for the initial phase of the founding with fully equipped laboratory and office spaces in the KIT’s own high-tech incubator for moderate rental fees.
Last but not least, life science founders need a lot of stamina. Economic success arises much later for them due to the long phases of product development and approval, particularly in the clinical field. In comparison, non-technology-based startups can offer a different product or service on the market after a short startup phase.
Are you currently working on a technology from which a business idea can be developed? Are you toying with the idea of founding a company? Do you need advice on founding? Then use the offers of the KIT Founders Forge and make an appointment with the consultant team of the KIT Innovation Management – we support you in your startup projects.