Nurturing the (Tech Transfer) Start-Up Vision

I wanted to share an idea on this blog that I found fascinating. Our neighbors to the north, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce presented an innovative concept of mandatory entrepreneurial education in middle school. The video was inspired by Manitoba BOLD, a crowd-sourced effort to discover what citizens envision for the future of the community.

A Bentley University survey of millennials found 66% wanted to have their own business someday and 37% wanted to work for themselves. Yet the Brookings Institute reports business start-up rates are much lower than in the 1980s. Why is that?

More young people want to work for themselves and yet less of them are doing it.

Perhaps it’s the cost of starting a business that holds so many back (although the Internet has decreased that barrier to entry in many cases) or maybe it’s these high student loans I keep hearing about. Either way sponsored research could be an effective bridge between the desires of the large Gen Y population to accomplish their start-up dreams and the needs of the universities and companies.

In a recent radio show, Kathy Ku, executive director of Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing, noted the expansion of the role of TTOs in saying, “tech transfer offices are helping to create an ecosystem around our universities.”

Today’s most innovative tech transfer offices are building ecosystems around the universities in the forms of entrepreneurial incubators, and becoming integral parts of the smaller and larger communities. Their efforts are being recognized by the physical community in which they reside and do their research, as well as the larger society. As part of their reach into the local communities maybe we’ll see more education about the importance of entrepreneurialism and how it improves everyone’s lives.

What are the biggest changes you see on the horizon for technology transfer?

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