SC SBDC Technology Commercialization Program
Innovative thinkers have a new friend at the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers. People and companies with original ideas and pioneering products can benefit from the SC SBDC’s new Technology Commercialization Program (Tech Com) headed by business consultant Chad Hardaway. Technology commercialization is taking an idea, concept or prototype from the early product concept stage through design, development and production all the way to market.
Often people lose their momentum when they realize they need startup capital, a research partner or a way to protect their creativity. SC SBDC’s Tech Com Program can help entrepreneurs form partnerships, find capital, research opportunities, explore new markets and move products into production and the hands of consumers. The program assists with technology startup creation, license generation, patents and intellectual property issues.
Early stage funding for startups is a key focus for the SC SBDC’s Tech Com Program. The grant proposals and awards of the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and its Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are an important component of how tech startups can be funded. The SC SBDC’s Tech Com Program facilitates partnerships between private sector companies and universities where grants fund studies that help bring a product to market backed by the scientific data of a major research university.
- Development of a concept/idea/work: A typical SC SBDC client arrives at an initial meeting to present a concept, idea or original work that they would like to bring to market. All meetings and client information is held confidential.
- Market assessment: The SC SBDC assesses a confidential idea or concept and works with the client to develop a preliminary commercialization strategy and a market feasibility assessment. The strategy and assessment are performed in conjunction with inventors or advisors as appropriate.
- Patenting and legal protection: The SC SBDC assists in a preliminary patent search to unearth any competing or blocking patents. When appropriate, the SC SBDC will suggest a client use copyright, trade secret or trademark rights to commercialize their inventions or works of authorship.
- Funding: The SC SBDC will assist in guiding a client to and preparing them for early stage funding sources like SCLaunch, EPSCOR Phase 0 grants and SBIR/STTR grants.
- Prospecting and connecting: SC SBDC will assist clients in proactively approaching companies, entrepreneurs, technology development groups and investors who are potentially suitable partners to help bring the client’s product to market.
- Due diligence and negotiation: The SC SBDC can help when a client’s marketing activities result in a request for a more in-depth examination of technology. The SC SBDC can provide assistance with nondisclosure agreements and provide direction to clients to prepare them for discussions with potential investors or partners.
- Commercialization deal development and licensing terms: When a commercialization partner is ready to move forward, the SC SBDC can provide frameworks for developing business terms including potential license agreements. License terms change from agreement to agreement and may involve fixed fees, milestone fees, royalties, equity and other considerations.
Technology Commercialization links:
University of South Carolina Office of Technology Commercialization
Innovista Technology Commercialization
Clemson University Technology Transfer
MUSC Foundation for Research Development
Association of University Technology Managers