University Startups and Spin-Offs: Guide for Entrepreneurs in Academia

New York: Apress, 2015.
ISBN13: 978-1-484206-24-9
Available on Amazon or on Springer Link or directly at Apress

University Startups and Spin-Offs introduces practical strategies to launch modern startups out of academia. It serves as a conversation starter to fire up better entrepreneurship initiatives at universities and navigate the unique circumstances found in higher education and research institutes.

Part one explains strategies for startup entrepreneurs. It explains how to test ideas for their marketability, develop products out of research projects, and engage companies and investors with attractive value propositions. With the Lean Startup method at heart, students and researchers will discover ways to make the best of the existing system as a springboard for their startups and sidestep the ballast that slows them down.

Part two addresses universities and educators. It offers suggestions for better startup integration in the fabric of the current education system, ways to grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem for students and researchers, and platform thinking to leverage dormant synergies. None of this will happen over night. In the long run, bridges between scientific research and those who need innovative solutions in their everyday lives will emerge. Not only is this good for the public view of universities, it motivates staff and professors to discover a deeper meaning in their work.

Launching a company is becoming attractive for students and researchers around the globe. Despite entrepreneurship programs and ample government grant funding, most of them do not understand what running a startup means and fail to make an impact with their ideas in the market. The universities themselves are not much better off. The traditional approach to technology transfer is falling flat. They have yet to catch up with the private sector to mobilize startup initiatives that achieve measurable success.

The author has used the strategies outlined in this book over the last seventeen years in his own startups and consulting mandates. A university in Singapore is carrying out some of the platform projects covered in this book. Just as startups, they need frequent reality checks and updates themselves to become more powerful over time. When universities, their students, and researchers are taking the first steps towards entrepreneurship, this book gives them an idea about the road ahead. They will make more informed decisions and have a better chance to see the journey through until they have achieved startup success.

Download the first chapter of the book (pdf, 3.8 MB).