One strategy for commercializing University technology is through creation of a start-up company. Start-up companies can be an effective means to recruit the applied and translational research and developmental funding necessary to advance a technology to a point where it can be directly offered to end-users and/or develop the technology to a stage which presents an opportunity for acquisition of the company or licensing of the developed technology to as established market leader.
If the research team is interested in pursuing a startup company and if a startup is seen as viable means to transfer the technology then OIC personnel will work with the company founders to provide the company necessary rights to the technology and can also provide direct assistance to the company as it becomes established and grows. One tool that has proven to be useful is the non-profit Michigan Tech Entrepreneurial Support Corporation (MTESC) and its subsidiary for-profit corporation, Superior Innovations which were established to serve as proof-of-concepts centers and corporate incubators to enable early stage technologies to be developed into the foundations of viable start-up companies.
Partner organizations that also support start-up company establishment, growth, and sustainability include the MTEC SmartZone, the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, the Michigan Small Business Development Center, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The services, resources, and programs offered by each of these organizations complement the activities of OIC personnel and others in support of start-up companies throughout the life of the company from initial establishment on.
Start-up companies who have licensed Michigan Tech technologies include: