From Invention to Start-Up Resources at the UW November 21, 2006 Alan C. Nelson, Ph.D. Chairman and CEO @ VisionGate, Inc. & Affiliate Professor @ UW 1980 Bayh-Dole Act (P.L. 96-517) • Universities would own the patent rights resulting from government sponsored research • Mandate to bring those inventions to commercial partners for the benefit of the public • Catalyst for the formation of university tech transfer offices 1994 WA Ethics and Public Service Act (RCW 42.52) • Ensures that all state employees conduct business with the highest ethical and moral standards • Overly strict interpretation resulted in conflict of interest and property use directives that were not business friendly • Inconsistencies arose • Policing of faculty discourages entrepreneurialism 2005 Revised WA Ethics Law • Universities now allowed to develop their own administrative processes that would apply in place of the previous obligations under RCW 42.52 Sections Superceded • Financial interests in transactions • Assisting in transactions • Employment after public service • Compensation for official duties • Compensation for outside activities • Honoraria • Gifts • Use of persons, money or property for private gain New Possibilities? • No matter what, full disclosure is paramount • You can consult and be paid in cash and stock —and the sky is the limit! • You can be a founder and director, but do not manage the day-to-day business • You can use your office, computer, library, etc. in a de minimis manner • Take a leave of absence—be a CEO NeoPath, Inc. • Founded in 1989 while on the faculty • Hired early employees including several graduate students • Served on the Board of Directors • Received cash and stock grant • Was granted leave of absence • Left the university to run the company and take it public VisionGate, Inc. • Founded in 2001 • Brought the company into the UW • Collaborate for $4M in government funds • Pay faculty and students to be on the team • Co-invent new IP and pursue patents • Offer to make the UW a co-investor….
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