Academic Research Spin-Offs

Each year the US federal government, industry and philanthropy invests approximately $65 billion in university research. Since 1980 when the Bayh-Dole Act enabled universities to own and manage the intellectual property (IP) arising from federally sponsored research, the number of startups and products based on university IP has increased steeply. In 2017 alone, the AUTM (Association of University Technology Managers) annual survey reports that 1080 startups based on university licenses were created across the country and $3.1B licensing income generated. Spin-off companies resulting from research and invention are increasingly how technology gets commercialized from academic research institutions.

Vinit Nijhawan is Interim Executive Director at Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center in UMass President’s Office. Vinit was Managing Director, Office of Technology Development at Boston University where he launched 8 venture-backed spinoffs and successfully executed a patent monetization program. Vinit has over 30 years experience building five startups: as CEO of three, five were acquired. Vinit has participated in over 240 panel discussions and paper presentations, and was a Board Member of Mass Ventures, an early stage, quasi-public Massachusetts venture capital firm, a co-founder of EdTech Accelerator/Incubator LearnLaunch, ex-President of Massachusetts Association of Technology Transfer Offices and co-founder of Waterloo Alumni Angels. Vinit is also serving or has served on non-profit boards of VentureCafe Foundation, National Academy of Inventors, TiE Global. Vinit earned a B.A.Sc in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.