Best Practices/Startup Process
Start Discussions Early:
We encourage you to contact Invention Transfer Group (ITG) and UCI Applied Innovation early in the process to discuss your business and/or invention, how to protect the intellectual property (IP), and your thoughts about developing and commercializing the IP through a startup company.
Seek Input, Network and Build Your Team:
UCI provides a wealth of resources for entrepreneurs and inventors looking for help to start a company, many located within UCI Applied Innovation. Identify a mentor and work with him or her regularly, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, review ideas with potential investors, and evaluate the commercial aspects with potential customers.
Work with a Licensing Officer at ITG to evaluate the opportunity to file a patent application on the invention before it becomes public. A major asset of a startup company is its IP. Obtaining a patent after public disclosure may no longer be possible, particularly outside the United States.
Choice of Legal Entity:
A range of tax, accounting, business structure, corporate governance, and certain personal considerations drive the process of selecting an appropriate business entity. Forming a legal business entity is not difficult or expensive; however, one should consult with a qualified attorney as to which form of business entity is most appropriate.
As a UCI faculty member, you should also consult with Academic Personnel, Conflict of Interest, and other relevant offices to develop a better understanding of the implications of acquiring this new outside financial interest and to ensure compliance with University of California policies.
Develop Your Business Model:
A detailed and well-thought out business model is often a key part of this phase through which you can develop a thorough understanding of target customers and applications, market potential, competition, funding needs, how you plan to develop the product, key management plans, and overall exit strategies.
Negotiate and Execute the License or Option Agreement:
A licensing officer at ITG will negotiate with the appropriate representative of the company to grant a license to your startup. In some cases, a short-term option agreement may be more cost-effective and may precede a license so that your company can demonstrate to potential funders that it has secured the rights to negotiate for a license to the technology.
Commercializing technology is typically a capital-intensive process. You’ll need to present your opportunity to people with the funds to help you make it happen: venture capitalists, angel investors and perhaps in the initial stages, friends and family.