April 12, 2021
Technology Ventures at the U of A has launched a new intellectual property option agreement specifically designed for use with U of A community member entrepreneurial teams. This option agreement allows pre-incorporation entrepreneurial teams of individuals to secure limited rights for a limited period of time to do a commercial evaluation, derisk the market though customer discovery and/or further develop university-owned intellectual property.
Through its own customer discovery, Technology Ventures has uncovered that it is sometimes challenging for an entrepreneurial team to invest the time, effort and knowledge capital into an early-stage innovation with the possibility that the U of A may find another licensing partner for that particular invention. With the new option agreement, the team can enjoy the security of the university taking the technology off the shelf by not marketing it and agreeing to negotiate only with that team to license that innovation for the predetermined period of time. This agreement is ideal for entrepreneurial teams participating in entrepreneurial development programs such as the National Science Foundation sponsored I-Corps program and the graduate level New Venture Development course in the Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship, & Venture Innovation of the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
“We are really looking forward to supporting and organically growing our local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and seeing the impact that this new option will have on empowering entrepreneurial teams to derisk innovations,” said David Hinton, acting executive director of Technology Ventures.
In exchange for the “no money down” option to the intellectual property, the team agrees to share with the university what it has learned from customer discovery, information on the commercial potential of the innovation, identified funding opportunities and lean canvas or business plan information. If, during the option period the team moves forward with starting a new company, the team can then come back to Technology Ventures to negotiate additional rights to the intellectual property to set the new entity on the best grounds for success.
About the University of Arkansas Technology Ventures: The University of Arkansas Technology Ventures has initiated a program to commercialize a wide range of research tools, whether patented or not. Technology Ventures manages, protects and commercializes the intellectual property portfolio of the University of Arkansas. Technology Ventures serves the university’s faculty, staff and students as well as external inventors and entrepreneurs to disseminate knowledge, technology and products to the public market to generate revenue and future research support. In this way, we also serve the public as it is our responsibility to enable public utilization of products derived from university research.