Startups and New Ventures
The University of Louisville is full of innovative and entrepreneurial faculty, staff and students. Within the Office of Research and Innovation, the UofL New Ventures works to support UofL startups, connecting them with experienced entrepreneurs and the community, helping them attract funding and market share, and increasing their success.
Often, these startups are built around university-held intellectual property, protected through the UofL Commercialization EPI-Center, who can help you navigate the patenting and licensing landscape. We also can help you secure the training, funding and other support needed to take your venture to the next level.
UofL has many technologies available for license across a range of industries - from medical devices, to software, to materials and engineering. We can help you identify technologies invented by UofL researchers that may be the ideal platform for building your new startup business. We take a flexible approach to negotiation, and can work with you to craft terms that meet both parties' goals. To learn more and browse available technologies, please visit our Available Technologies page
There are a few requirements that must be met in order for the university to effectively license IP to a startup:
- The IP must be appropriate to the startup – our team will work alongside the creators of the desired IP to make this determination;
- The IP must have been properly disclosed to the UofL Commercialization EPI-Center. This allows our team to ensure that all third-party obligations attached to the IP are properly fulfilled;
- The startup must have a viable business plan, which will be provided as part of license negotiations;
- The startup must have a business person in place who is not the UofL creator as defined by the IP policy. The startup must also be seeking, or already have competent management for the business.
The EPI-Center is happy to assist founders and our creators in navigating the intellectual property requirements and licensing in creating a startup. Please contact the Commercialization EPI-Center as soon as possible if you would like to license a technology for your startup. The earlier that you engage our staff, the more we can do to assist you.
As a world-class university, UofL is a great place to learn and gain the training you need to become the best entrepreneur you can be. A range of options are available, ranging from completing a certificate or degree program (including our well-regarded Innovation MBA), microcredentialling through our Center for Digital Transformation.
Additional opportunities include:
- Translational Grants. UofL is home to a prestigious suite of translational grants that can help you learn more about product development and launching a company.
- LaunchIt. UofL's 10-week startup and innovation bootcamp is a great place to learn about lean startup methodology, customer discovery, launching a product and more.
What many entrepreneurs like best about our LaunchIt program are the contacts they make. Each week begins with a presentation by a successful member of the local business community. Collectively they address a range of important topics — marketing, legal structure, sources of capital, and more. After the featured presentation, entrepreneurs work in smaller groups with a business coach. Our coaches are knowledgeable entrepreneurs with an in-depth understanding of launching and growing a business. Scholarships are available.
UofL has hired “entrepreneurs-in-residence” (EIRs) help guide research-backed inventions to market. The EIRs work with faculty to provide guidance on product development, business planning and other activities to accelerate the commercialization of university inventions.More information on the UofL Entrepreneurs In Residence can be found here.
UofL is home to world-class researchers specializing in a range of disciplines, energetic students who love working with industry and state-of-the-art facilities for R&D and prototyping. Our researchers have a long history of working with industry partners on R&D, prototyping and problem solving via sponsored research.
Or, you may prefer to work with our service centers, including those for rapid prototyping, micro/nano technology and more, through fee-for-service work. More information on our core facilities is available here and more information on our service centers is available here.
And, of course, our students love working on industry projects, which give them a chance to learn hands-on skills while offering companies a fresh perspective and energy. Contact us to learn more.
Yes! We can absolutely help you find lab space for the continued development of your innovation. UofL has plenty of options across its three major campuses, and may have just the place for you. Contact UofL New Ventures for more information.
You may also need space for your business. Options at UofL include the iHub coworking space on our downtown J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
For UofL inventors, the process of disclosing your invention or idea begins with the Commercialization EPI-Center. This office can work with you to vet your invention, understand the market landscape and what options exist for protecting your research-backed IP. To begin, fill out a research disclosure form or contact the EPI-Center via email.
Yes, UofL does allow for a temporary reduction in full-time employment (without pay) for faculty pursuing entrepreneurship. The purpose of this leave is to encourage faculty to develop and/or commercialize intellectual property to the benefit of the university. Any faculty member (probationary, tenured or term), who is .80 or more FTE, is eligible to apply for leave. Approval of leave is discretionary and must be approved by your supervisory chain of command. More information on the UofL Entrepreneurial Leave Policy can be found here.