A key to the success of our ventures is finding advisors, mentors, and interim or permanent senior management (CxOs) with business and industry experience. Another key to new venture success is finding funding for further business development.
Our faculty ventures are at various stages of intellectual property (IP) development and growth. Most start out as Pre-Ventures. At this stage a product or service has been disclosed and a provisional patent or other protection has been applied for. The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) and our mentors assist in identifying market potential, and develop a Go-To-Market Plan. Once the New Venture is started, the mentoring team assists in developing industry relationships, and begin seeking grants, SBIRs, and private seed funding. When a Growth Venture, "graduates" to brick-and-mortar location, additional investment and advice is needed for sustained growth.
You can help these businesses succeed through several avenues, including:
Most Iowa State grants (I6 and Demonstration) and Federal grants (SBIR) are available to early stage ventures to fill this gap. These funds require a 1:1 or 1:2 match, which is often difficult to find at these early stages. Private investors can play a significant role at this stage where a small investment can be multiplied by 2-3x. While these ventures are high risk, the return to the university, the community and society can be immeasurable.
Our inventors bring decades of experience in their respective areas of medicine, engineering, and biochemistry just to name a few. As founders of spinout ventures based on their discoveries, some inventors hope to become leaders of their ventures. Some are looking for experienced management and are comfortable with active technical support roles.
UIVentures works with new ventures in all areas of industry from therapeutics to software. A list of these ventures can be found on the Ventures page along with information about each young company.