Featuring webinars, books, articles and unique videos developed or selected by the ecosVC® Team.

ecosVC® Interviews

Get info from the experts with these video interviews conducted by Joseph Steig and Judy Giordan with entrepreneurs, investors and others involved in university technology transfer and science startups.

Funded by a grant from the National Science (NSF) Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) Program (CHE #0920877), these videos are relevant to faculty and student innovators in science and engineering looking for insights on how to bring innovations into market.

Click on the quotes to watch the interviews! (Links open in a new tab/window).

Investors describe the VC / Angel community

An important first step in starting a successful new venture is getting familiar with the angel and venture capital community. How does the investment process work? How do you get started? Listen first-hand to what these investors and entrepreneurs say about engaging with the community.

Student perspectives on entrepreneurship

Listen to a handful of students who have made the transition from university researchers to technology entrepreneurs offer their perspectives on the relationship between academics and business.

Sources of funding for tech startups

Finding the money is typically the most challenging aspect of launching any new venture. Get started on understanding the complicated world of new venture finance now by listening to these three investors and entrepreneurs.

Women scientist and investor perspective

The experiences of women scientists and entrepreneurs is usually quite different from men. Women entrepreneurs face a number of distinct challenges, from not being taken seriously all the way to lack of access to capital. These three women entrepreneurs and executives discuss the challenges and opportunities.

Unfortunately there are still challenges to being a woman scientist. They're numerous and varied.
— Dr. Susan Leschine, Professor of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Founder of Qteros, Inc.
We believe there are some very talented women entrepreneurs that deserve to be funded.
— Anita Brearton, Managing Director, Boston Forum Leader at Golden Seeds

Importance of advisors

Having good advisors and mentors is key to the success of any young entrepreneur (and, by extension, any new venture). Mentors can offer access to their networks, sound advice, and business planning input. Listen as the following five professionals explain why mentors are so crucial.

Most people out there doing mentoring love nothing more than to help you.
— Dr. Linda Plano, Principal, Plano and Simple and former Assoc. Director of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center

Investors' perspective on university tech startups

Investors don't look at university startups all that much differently than non-university startups. They want to see the basics: is there a market for this technology? Do people need it? Is the team in it for the long haul?

Corporate perspective

Corporations and universities have grown closer in recent years and now have a number of points of interaction, including hiring graduates, collaborating on research and acquiring new university technologies. The following two experts offer a corporate perspective on university tech startups.

Understanding the tech transfer office

Engaging with your tech transfer office will likely be the very first step you take toward commercializing your invention and bringing it to a larger world. Listen as these experts describe the details of working with the tech transfer office.

Your first duty within the institution is to disclose the technology to the tech transfer office.
— Dr. Abigail Barrow, Founding Director of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center

Understanding customers' needs

It's often a blind spot for scientists: in order to build a viable business, there has to be a market need for the technology you're developing. If not enough people want to buy what you're selling, your venture won't get off the ground. Each of the below experts stresses the importance of understanding customers' needs, and making sure you meet them.

Importance of the team

The team you assemble to commercialize your new technology could very well be the most important factor in determining whether or not the venture will be successful. Investors want to see high-functioning, interdisciplinary teams capable of tackling the many challenges that lie ahead.

Just the knowledge of realizing that I need to be interdisciplinary is a very, very important thing.
— Dr. Judith Giordan, Venture Founder, Investor, and Former Fortune 100 Executive
Nobody can do everything. In fact, what investors like in particular is a team.
— William Contente, Partner, Gessmer Updegrove and Chairman of the Board of Launchpad Venture Group

ARI Halo Report

The Halo Report research series highlights angel investment activity and trends in North America. It is a collaborative effort designed to raise awareness of early-stage investment activities by angel investors in groups and provides unique insights previously unavailable to entrepreneurs or early-stage investors.

Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (CSMC) Innovation Webinar Series

Funded through grants from the National Science Foundation and ONAMI, this FREE series was developed by the CSMC in conjunction with the NCIIA and ecosVC® with the aim of providing STEM graduate students, faculty and post-docs with knowledge on the rewards and benefits of learning the language of innovation — and the skills to translate their research into solutions to the challenges facing people and the planet!

  1. 02/02/2012 - Intellectual Property, Tech Transfer and YOU

    The basis for most ventures based on discoveries in science and engineering is their inventions—their intellectual property. And the importance of protecting intellectual property—these all important intangible assets—in an appropriate way becomes a key factor in the ability of any researcher to realize the translation of their research to a marketable product or service!

    But how can research be protected? What are the options for protecting your intellectual property? What is the role of the Tech Transfer office in protecting and commercializing university IP? What are the roles of students, post docs and professors in this protection process? What are the similarities and differences in protecting intellectual property for new materials and their uses from other types of inventions?

  2. 05/17/2012 - Where to take my career! A start-up or an established company?

    Panelists Dr. Stephen Meyers of the Oregon-based start-up company Inpria, and Dr. Alicyn Rhoades of Bayer MaterialScience discuss their career choices with moderator Dr. Judy Giordan of ecosVC.

  3. 09/20/2012 - Government grants for translating research to innovations

    Securing government funding is often an instrumental part of translating laboratory and academic research into large scale innovations and independent business ventures. A staggering amount of money is made available for precisely this purpose and programs addressing a wide variety of research initiatives are launched every year. Of course, the process begins with identifying the appropriate grant opportunities and tailoring your proposal for maximum effectiveness by highlighting your potential for innovation. 

    How should a scientist with an exciting idea begin his or her search for government funding opportunities? What advice can experts offer on drafting an impactful proposal? What is the expectation of the role of innovation in large government programs? 

  4. 02/21/2013 - Publish vs. patent and its effect on your career

    The question of whether to patent or publish is an important choice for researchers at all levels. Depending upon industry or academia, the emphasis on patents and publications can differ. Therefore, it is particularly important for graduate students to consider which path is best. Can the decision to patent or publish impact one's career and what are the benefits of one vs. the other? 

    How do industry and academia value patents and publications today? What is important to consider when choosing to patent or publish?