I’ve been tracking Utah’s meteoric rise up the technology commercialisation charts for some time now. In 2010 Utah State University reached the number 1 spot in terms of tech startups created. MIT came in at 2nd spot.
But it’s not all a numbers game. According to Robert Behunin, their VP of Commercialization & Regional Development, their focus is “fewer, deeper“.
Full-scale commercialisation efforts at USU may result in fewer companies spun-off from university- developed technologies, but those companies to come out of USU have industry support, by way of partnerships, and capital raised.
He says they seek good science and good solutions that have a relevant place in the market. It’s a program in which everybody wins…
They are currently pursuing close to 60 active commercialisation projects and have a pipeline of 40 earlier stage projects.
The key take out for me is that they are focused. Rather than working on a myriad of low impact activities in a process heavy, reactively-driven way, they are focused on fewer, higher impact projects that can link them much closer together with the demands of industry in a symbiotic partnership from which all players can create and extract maximum value.