T h e C e n t e r f o r T e c h n o l o g y C o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n
Here you'll find a variety of opportunities to get help with your commercialization efforts. Come back often as we are always adding new programs.
Certificate in Technology Commercialization
The Certificate in Technology Commercialization provides students with a variety of opportunities to learn commercialization skills in an academic/real world environment that combines theory and practice. Students participate in our living laboratory academic program to experience the entire spectrum of the commercialization process: invention, product development, technical and market feasibility analysis, intellectual property acquisition, business planning, and venture funding while potentially becoming stakeholders in a new technology venture. They are also eligible to apply for summer internships sponsored by industry partners to give them additional experience in taking a new technology to market.
The program is particularly suited to those in science, engineering, and business. Classes include masters and Ph.D.-level researchers in medicine, the sciences, and all areas of engineering as well as MBA candidates.
The completed certificate is awarded by USC and is documented on the graduate’s transcript.
Three required courses and one elective are offered. Students
benefit from faculty in science, engineering, and business to guide them.
Elective courses include:
For current USC graduate students, courses credited to the Graduate Certificate in Technology Commercialization may be completed in conjunction with course work required for the program in which the student is already enrolled. Applicability of TC courses to the student’s primary degree program is determined by the student’s home department. For USC alumni, courses completed in conjunction with the individual’s prior degree may not be credited toward the certificate. Appropriate substitutions for required courses will be determined and documented by the program director.
The Application ProcessThe Certificate in Technology Commercialization is offered to complement or extend the individual’s graduate education.
To qualify for admission to the program, current USC graduate students should have completed the equivalent of one year of graduate study at USC (at least 12 units for part-time students) and earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20. Individuals holding graduate degrees awarded by USC are welcome to apply. Non-matriculated individuals (e.g., visiting scholars and those applying for limited student status) are not eligible for the program.
There are two parts to the application process:
1. Submit an application through USC Admissions (program code 1249). (The application fee is not required of current USC students and USC alumni.) International applicants are advised to see the instructions for International Students published in the USC Graduate Admissions Application Booklet.
2. Submit a program application directly to the Lloyd Greif Center
for Entrepreneurial Studies. To request a program application form call
213-740-0505. After the Lloyd Greif Center has received your complete application
you will be contacted to confirm receipt of your application and to schedule
an interview. Satisfaction of minimum conditions for application does not
guarantee admission. In their review of applications, the admissions committee
members consider the applicant’s completed academic work, evidence
of potential business leadership, motivation, work experience, and competitiveness
within the current applicant pool.
Complete applications must be submitted no later than
Admission is granted for a specific semester/term only. Deferment
of enrollment to a later semester is not automatically permitted. Should
an applicant need to defer enrollment, a request to do so must be submitted
to the Vice Dean for Graduate Programs. Approval is not guaranteed.
C TC has worked with the following companies in many capacities: feasibility analysis, consulting for commercialization strategy, assistance in finding management team members, consulting on intellectual property strategy, developing a commercialization team, providing interns, mentoring preparation for funding, and introductions to venture capitalists and angels for funding. Note that CTC helped many other researchers and USC companies that are not listed here.
The following is a broad outline of the technology commercialization process. Use it to identify where you are in the process and where you will need to go to bring your technology to market. There are links embedded in the outline to take you to additional resources on a particular subject.
The innovation process is not linear. In fact, it moves more like a pinball machinetaking off in one direction until it hits a snag, then bouncing of in another direction. Innovation is an iterative process where the inventor learns from his or her mistakes and builds on that learning until the goal is achieved.
The invention and innovation process is generally comprised of four categories of activities: connection, discovery, invention, and application. Briefly, connection involves recognizing a relationship that might lead to a discovery, which is the ah ha or eureka! phenomenon that occurs when something new is discovered. From this discovery comes an invention that spawns applications in a variety of different contexts.
At this early stage, it is important to do the following:
Identify the Scientific Value of the Research
This portion of the tech commercialization process is perhaps the easiest for most inventors. It entails determining if youre dealing with
· A disruptive technology, that is, a technology not based on an existing
Identify the Commercial Value of the Research
Not all research that has scientific value also has commercial value. Commercial value simply means that there is a market and customers who are willing to pay for your technology because it meets a perceived need. Commercial value is usually determined via a feasibility analysis, which is discussed below.TOP
Protection of Intellectual Property
Many inventors fail to realize how important it is to protect their work legally so that they have the option to apply for a patent or other form of IP at the appropriate time. Protecting innovative ideas and inventions is critical to successful commercialization. But which type of protection to choose and which strategy will best meet business goals are also vital. In general, there are four major classes of intellectual property: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.
Second Evaluation of Intellectual Property
· Feasibility of the patent does
it meet the requirements?
· Interest of the industryTOP
Critical Decision Point
Once the invention is prototyped and the various forms of intellectual property studied, its time to consider if going after a patent or other form of IP is feasible or necessary to the successful commercialization of the technology. For some products, getting a patent will take longer than the window of opportunity will allow. For others, a patent will provide a brief quiet period to enter the market without competitors. In addition to deciding on whether to patent, the entrepreneur will also have to determine if the invention meets the Patent Offices requirements for patentability and if there is a market for the technology. In general, a device must fall into one of the following categories:
To learn more about the PTOs requirements go to www.uspto.gov .TOP
Business Concept Development and Testing
Determining if the invention or innovation is feasible requires the development of a business concept, that is, looking at who the customer is, what the value proposition is, and how the benefit will be delivered (distribution). It also involves a thorough analysis of the industry and market, the management team, and the resources required to start the venture.
· Conduct feasibility analysis
Check the home page for announcements of upcoming workshops and lectures related to feasibility analysis. If you would like to be considered for an MBA intern on your project to help you test its feasibility, contact Dr. Kathleen Allen.TOP
Once a business concept is judged to be feasible, it is necessary to develop the infrastructure for the businessnamely, the company. This is typically accomplished by preparing a comprehensive business plan documenting the operations of the business, policies, a marketing and growth plan, and a complete set of financial statements in addition to including updated industry, market, and team analysis from the feasibility study.
Business development also entails setting up the legal structure of the business and the distribution of equity to the shareholders. If outside capital is being sought, negotiations with investors will also take place. Negotiations with strategic partners to implement certain areas of the business plan must be conducted.TOP
The actual start-up of the business includes such activities as finding and negotiating for facilities, hiring personnel, stocking inventories of raw materials and components, and general administrative organization.