It is important when thinking about starting your own company that you evaluate both the risks and benefits of such an endeavor. 

Benefits of Start-Ups

Start-ups have the potential to produce significant opportunities for the owner(s), the University, and the surrounding community. Given the right set of circumstances, start-ups can:

  • bring a technology to market more quickly than can be done at a large company
  • create jobs within the local community and region
  • increase the value of a technology to outside partner companies by completing proof-of-concept studies or by making prototypes
  • diversify the financial return risk with an equity stake/ownership in the business (the University can benefit from the business success of more than just their own technology)
  • aid University research and faculty retention  

Considerations For Forming A Start-Up Company

A few key risk factors when considering a start-up company are:

  • development risk (often large companies in established industries are unwilling to take the risk)
  • development costs versus investment return (is the company adequately funded and can the investors obtain their needed rates of return)
  • potential for multiple products or services from the same technology (few companies survive on one product alone, but a startup company must focus on a few initial opportunities)
  • sufficiently large competitive advantage and target market
  • potential revenues sufficient to sustain and grow a company

Ultimately, starting a new company can often be one of the most rewarding experiences of any researcher's career. In some instances, forming a new business entity can also be the most efficient way to bring a product into the commercial market. Start-up companies typically specialize in the concentrated development of a few key technologies rather than having a broad focus on many technologies. In all cases, starting your own company requires resourcefulness and creativity, a competitive spirit, a strong desire to succeed financially, and a great deal of commitment.

MURA Process

Success Stories

Links for Start-Up Companies

Company Creation Resources (including sample business plan)

Economic Development and Funding Resources