March 6, 2007
UI Research Foundation Seeks CEOs/Entrepreneurs-In-Residence
The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) is recruiting experienced entrepreneurs and executives who will spend time at the UI each month evaluating and developing new companies as part of a CEO/Entrepreneur-in-Residence program.
The UIRF seeks individuals who have had extensive management experience in the early stages of company and/or product development who will accelerate the commercial development of technologies started at the UI.
“They will have expertise in areas the companies need, and for the highest priority opportunities, help formulate and implement the business strategy to the stage where the company can move forward essentially on its own,” said Pam York, UIRF executive director.
The CEOs/Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will help UI spin-off companies in areas such as business strategy, finding skilled management and making industry contacts.
Experience is preferred in hard life sciences, biotechnology, medical devices and instrumentation, virtual reality, software, engineering and chemistry, but other backgrounds will be considered. Candidates need to have identified early-stage high-technology opportunities and translated them into businesses, products, services or contracts.
York says there are several advantages of working in a setting where companies are spun out of a parent organization such as a major research university. At the UI, these advantages include extensive research and development capacity, external federal and commercial grant funding, an intellectual property strategy and management team, a licensing and contracts team, internal grant funding for new company product development, and an educational and consultative environment for prospective faculty and student entrepreneurs.
CEOs/Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will work with a small internal group of full-time, experienced new ventures experts that will seek and evaluate new company opportunities. These full-time consultants will find the high-risk and high-reward opportunities and develop them to the point that external entrepreneurs and investors are willing to participate. The CEO/Entrepreneurs-in-Residence would be working with this team and the UIRF’s experienced licensing professionals to navigate the field of opportunities.
“There are substantial hurdles at the earliest stages of new high-technology company formation, and most new companies are likely to face a high level of risk that few entrepreneurs and virtually no investors will incur. The benefit of an internal professional development group is that it can investigate new opportunities without fronting the full risk as an independent entrepreneur would,” York said.
The UIRF intends to fill two CEO/Entrepreneur-in-Residence positions by July; the structure, logistics and responsibilities are flexible. The UIRF may cover travel expenses and may pay consulting fees, but the primary incentive would come from a strong desire to be part of creating new companies. A commitment on the order of six months is anticipated.
The UIRF commercializes university-developed technologies and inventions through licensing and new venture formation, and manages the subsequent revenue stream. It is part of the Iowa Centers for Enterprise, which integrates existing economic development activities at the UI. The office offers a comprehensive program that promotes economic development and technology transfer, provides assistance to Iowa startups and existing Iowa businesses and communities and helps the state of Iowa develop a creative, entrepreneurial workforce. Also, it optimizes flow of university intellectual property into opportunities for licensing, commercialization and business development.
SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.http://research.uiowa.edu/techtransfer/research-home.htm