Start-Up Assistance by OTC
OTC will work with UTEP inventors to fill in the gap between the technology and the formation of a Start-Up. Our office can:
- Provide a list of attorneys and Start-Up consultants specializing in new business formation.
- Help to review the business plans and develop a funding strategy (as references, OTC provides sample Executive Summary and Pitch Deck.
- Assist on locating prospective management talent.
- Making introductions to probable investors.
- Provide recommendations for various entrepreneur programs, such as the I-Corps by The National Science Foundation, and the Paso del Norte Venture Competition.
- Start-Ups should be based on innovative products that can bring unique value to the customer. Discoveries that could lead to multiple products or product lines, or “platform technologies,” are what many investors look for when funding a Start-Up.
- Start-Ups should work with OTC to secure intellectual property rights associated with core services or products as soon as possible, to help create and preserve value in the company.
- Before you incorporate the company, there are some important considerations that founders must agree to before moving forward: founders’ respective roles, relative ownership interests (equity position) and other important governance matters. Please capture the key points in an executed Founder’s Agreement.
- Being able to manage the development hurdles and raise capital while building a motivated team at the early stage of Start-Up requires extensive experience and time commitment. It is strongly suggested for the Start-Up to identify and assign a business manager (non UTEP personal) to initiate negotiations with OTC and fundraising.
- A conflict-of-interest exists when an individual’s personal interests (e.g., equity holdings in a Start-Up company) are perceived to influence that person’s judgment when exercising his or her academic employment duties. UTEP conflict of interest policies and online reporting portal can be found here.
Licensing and Fundraising
- Once the company is formed, the businessperson leading the Start-Up will negotiate a license for the Start-Up with OTC.
In some cases, a short-term option may precede the license. Here are some general terms to expect in a Start-Up license:
• Detailed diligence milestones.
• Full patent cost reimbursement by the licensee or a reimbursement payment plan.
• Equity (in exchange for licensing fees) and royalties to UTEP.
• Maintenance fees to ensure that the company is serious about developing the technology.
- A detailed business or development plan is required from the Start-Up to license UTEP technology, which needs to include: business description, problem to be solved and the solution, leadership team, intellectual property, commercial potential, competition, financial projections, business strategy, and a financing plan. OTC can provide some general guidance on how to write a business plan.