A Guide To:

University Spinouts

At Pillar and Petri, half of our investments are in university spinouts. That’s why we created this collection of resources about what to to expect when you’re launching a company as a PhD, MBA or faculty-led startup.

audio icon What should I know before starting a company for the first time? audio icon What are the major differences between being in academia and being a CEO? audio icon What is your advice for academics who are about to embark on the startup journey? audio icon What is your number one piece of advice for academics about to embark on the startup journey? audio icon What is your number one piece of advice for early-stage founders? audio icon What is your number one piece of advice for founders of university spinouts? audio icon What are the first steps for university licensing? audio icon How should a founder prepare for the licensing process? audio icon What mistakes do founders make as they navigate the university licensing process? audio icon How can I best prepare for the spinout process? audio icon When is the best time for a Postdoc or PhD student to engage a lawyer? audio icon How can potential university spinouts find attorneys to work with? audio icon Do law firms defer fees for university spinouts? audio icon How will I know when a technology is ready to spin out of the university? audio icon How do I know when technology is ready to be commercialized? audio icon How do I know when technology is ready to be commercialized? audio icon What is your advice for women faculty and grads who are interested in starting companies in STEM fields? audio icon Can I start a company while continuing my academic career? audio icon How do you recommend spinout founders split equity? audio icon When is the right time to incorporate? audio icon How should founders think about IP when starting a company? audio icon How can I get the most out of my relationship with my lawyer? audio icon Are there any legal documents I should make sure to have in place before starting my company? audio icon What are the goals of the university licensing office? audio icon How should I navigate university tech transfer? audio icon What are the major components of a university license? audio icon What is the role of the Principal Investigator in discussions? audio icon What is the typical timeline and process for licensing discussions? audio icon Are there any benchmarks companies can follow when negotiating university licenses? audio icon When should a startup think about an option vs. full license? audio icon What are standard university licenses? audio icon When should I use a standard university license? audio icon Is exclusivity important in the licensing process? audio icon How much ownership should I expect the university to take? audio icon Are there any ways that startups can help leverage themselves and companies in the negotiation process? audio icon What advice do you have for academics who are raising capital for the first time? audio icon How have you created relationships outside of academia? audio icon Can you share your founding story with us? How did you get started? audio icon Can you share your founding story with us? audio icon Can you share your founding story with us? How did you get started? audio icon How can university spinouts best utilize university resources and connections? audio icon What should a professor's role be after the company forms? audio icon What should a professor's role be after the company forms? audio icon What should a professor's role be after a company forms?

What should I know before starting a company for the first time?

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CEO at Verve Motion
 

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CEO at Concerto Biosciences
 

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Associate Professor at BU / Co-Founder Asimov & Lattice Automation

Starting a University
Spinout

5-6pm EST — Held via Zoom

Join Pillar VC for a live panel event with experienced founders and fundraisers.  Come prepared to ask questions!

How-To's & Guides

PREPARE

If you’re a business person looking to create a university spinout, the first thing you will need is to find technology. We’ve curated our top tips for finding university tech, and how to analyze commercialization potential once you’ve found it.

LEARN

We’ve collected our lessons learned and created a step-by-step timeline for spinning out university tech. If you are at an academic lab, this will help you know what to expect when you spin out your deep tech.

PROTECT

Protecting intellectual property is a crucial job for any start-up whose competitive edge comes from innovation, particularly those commercializing patentable technical or scientific advances.

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Largest cleantech incubator in North America, operating a 100,000 sq. ft.

Starting a biotech spinout?

Petri is a new approach for formation-stage startups at the intersection of biology and engineering.

Starting a tech spinout?

Pillar is a seed-stage VC firm founded by 22 CEOs who have built Boston's biggest companies. We're the first capital in for founders, and enjoy the chance to brainstorm at the earliest stages.