Print This Issue

Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer Unveils the UPSTART Company Formation Program
April 27, 2010, Volume 56, No. 31

Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer (CTT) introduces UPSTART, a program aimed at developing Penn intellectual property by helping faculty form new companies based on their inventions and technological innovations.

The program, a comprehensive suite of services geared to connect entrepreneurs, investors and funding organizations with Penn researchers, combines the business-creation strengths of CTT and its New Ventures Team with the entrepreneurial interests of faculty founders and regional investors.

UPSTART representatives partner directly with University faculty and staff to complete the steps required to legally form a company, raise funds and recruit employees to manage the company.

The program provides access to a wide variety of business planning, advisory and support resources through its network of collaborative relationships with entities such as the University Science Center, Penn’s Wharton Small Business Development Center, a division of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center of Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, and the Commercialization Acceleration Program at Penn. These resources and others help emerging UPSTART businesses analyze the size of potential markets, address competitive landscapes, develop product strategies and better define their infrastructure needs.

Once a marketing and business plan is established, UPSTART develops strategies and timelines for the pursuit of external funding including outreach to angel investors, economic development funds, seed stage venture capital funds and government grant programs.

UPSTART representatives also take the lead in introducing company founders to local entrepreneurs with the capabilities necessary to build a management team and company infrastructure. By marketing the company’s technology to potential partners, UPSTART provides access to additional resources and alternative funding sources to advance the pace of innovative research.

“UPSTART was created in response to the tremendous amount of interest we received from Penn faculty desiring to learn more about the possibility of forming companies around their discoveries,” John Swartley, deputy executive director of CTT, said. “We developed the program with substantial input from faculty members and key stakeholders at Penn so it truly reflects a partnership between the University and faculty founders that facilitates the process of new venture creation.”

“The UPSTART Program is an important means by which Penn supports the continuing development of promising discoveries and helps to build the value of ground-breaking technologies,” Michael Cleare, executive director of CTT, said. “We aim to impact the innovation economy in general, and local economic development in particular, with all that could mean in terms of jobs and gross domestic product contribution. With each success, we should also realize substantial benefits for the University, its faculty and staff.”

For additional information see www.ctt.upenn.edu/index.php?category=50&page=113.

Almanac - April 27, 2010, Volume 56, No. 31