The Office for Technology Development (OTD) is responsible for researching technologies suitable for entrepreneurial development and assists in developing startup companies based on those technologies.
OTD has launched many thriving startups. These are some of our success stories.
Business Development experts in the Office for Technology Development draw from years of experience and connections to create a plan for your success in venture development.
Technologies developed at UT Southwestern Medical Center can be commercialized through either licensing or the development of a new company (a startup). This activity benefits the University directly through the ownership of equity and other license-derived compensation and indirectly through the advantages to University researchers and the community and increased University-industry relations.
Contact our office to discuss how we can help you advance venture development.
The group actively seeks out UT Southwestern technologies suitable for entrepreneurial venture development and participates in the development of new companies based on those technologies.
The strategy for UT Southwestern’s Venture Development Program is not to measure success by the total number of startups incorporated. Rather, it is focused on the establishment of quality entities that have substantial technologies, experienced management, and adequate funding to achieve their strategic goals and build value for the equity holders, including the University and inventors.
In some cases, the group has combined multiple UT Southwestern technologies into a single, strong company rather than forming multiple small startups.
Venture Development Process
Here’s how we do it:
- Market Potential Assessed
When a new technology is submitted to the Office for Technology Development (OTD), it is reviewed for commercialization potential, including patent possibilities, likely interested parties for licensing, or potential for placement into a startup company project.
- Startup Entrepreneur Begins Development
Our Commercialization Success Partners serve as startup managers for the internal development phase until an entrepreneur is found.
- Technology Licensed to Launch Startup
Working with external partners, we advance the venture opportunity, identify management, connect with funding partners, and develop strategy to launch the startup.
What is a Startup?
A startup company is a new business company formed to commercialize one or more related technologies licensed by the Office for Technology Development at UT Southwestern. There may additionally be inventions from other institutions that may go into the startup company’s portfolio. The decision to create a startup company that is based on UT Southwestern-licensed technology is a joint decision between the OTD and the inventors.
Roles and Responsibilities
Creating a startup company
The decision to create a startup company that is based on UT Southwestern-licensed technology is a joint decision between the OTD and the inventors. It is also based on a number of factors, some of which are:
- Costs vs. return on investment
- Sufficiently large competitive target market
- Sufficient potential revenues to sustain and grow the company
- Potential for multiple products or services from licensed technology
- Market risk
What is your role?
The Office for Technology Development recognizes that your involvement may be integral to the success of the startup. However, such activities may not interfere with your basic research and primary employment obligation to UT Southwestern. You may enter into a consulting agreement with the company or participate on its Scientific Advisory Board provided this is approved by UT Southwestern.
What is OTD’s role?
OTD is authorized to negotiate license and option agreements on behalf of the University. The OTD is responsible for enforcing and administering all licenses and options, and distributing monies, paid by third parties, to inventors.
Will UT Southwestern pay for or lead the incorporation of a startup company?
UT Southwestern will not pay for the incorporation of a startup company. The startup company should pay for its own business incorporation and any legal matters and/or licensing expenses.
Compensation Questions Answered
How can I expect to be compensated if my invention is licensed to a startup company formed through the Office for Technology Development at UT Southwestern?
After paying legal expenses, 50% of license revenues that the Office receives are distributed to the co-inventors and 25% is distributed to the co-inventors’ laboratory sub ledger, with the remaining 25% going to the University. If the OTD receives shares of stock as part of the license, the shares are held by the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) until such time that they can be sold on a public exchange. UT Southwestern then sells the shares and the resulting proceeds are distributed under the same 50/25/25 percent formula.
Can I hold a Board of Directors position in a company founded on my invention?
In instances where a company is founded (in whole or in part) based on your intellectual property, UT Southwestern policy does not allow you to hold a Board of Directors position or act as an officer or other employee in the company.
Can I perform sponsored research for the company if my invention is licensed to a UT Southwestern startup company?
Yes, you may perform sponsored research under a UT Southwestern-approved Sponsored Research Agreement. A conflict of interest management plan must also be established to be certain that the research follows University and System guidelines.
Can UT Southwestern accept equity in a company?
Yes, UT Southwestern often accepts equity as part of the financial terms of a license.
Conflicts of Interest
Conflict of Interest (COI) Office Management
Conflicts of interest are managed by the Conflict of Interest (COI) Office and the COI Committee. In some cases, a COI management plan must be finalized concurrently with completion of a license agreement. More information may be obtained on the COI website.
Inventor’s Role with COI Office
If required, the inventor as a “Covered Individual” must submit a Statement of Financial Interests form through the COI website, so that any potential conflicts of interest can be identified and appropriately managed.
Startup Company and Inventor Employment
If my invention is licensed to a UT Southwestern startup company, will I have to leave my position at UT Southwestern?
No, you only need to leave your employment at UT Southwestern if you decide to become an employee of the startup company. UT Southwestern policy does not permit you to be an employee or director of the startup. However, you are allowed to serve as a member of a Scientific or Medical Advisory Board or as a compensated consultant to the startup. With department chair approval, faculty may spend up to a total of 20% of their time on all their outside activities, consistent with UT Southwestern policies.