University Research and Entrepreneurship Symposium 2011 (URES) will be held on March 31, 2011 in Cambridge, MA. It is an honor for me to have been involved with this annual event since its founding. It is a unique event, possibly the only one of its kind, to present high quality university research & innovation projects in front of a select audience of institutional and angel investors, experienced CEOs and successful entrepreneurs looking to become involved with the next big thing.
URES was founded in 2008 when three Boston based venture capital firms (General Catalyst Partners, Flybridge Capital and Atlas Venture) realized that while individual partners from these firms spent time meeting amazing academics and their innovation at research institutions across the country, their networks often did not overlap, and that academics wishing to commercialize their research would benefit greatly if they had easy and early access to a wider audience of investors and entrepreneurs who could help them shape/create/fund their startups. URES attempts to bridge this gap by showcasing commercializable university research in various fields in front of an audience that eagerly wishes to know about them and engage with them (presently, the symposium includes 3 tracks: IT, Energy/Cleantech, and Life Sciences).
To be clear, the explicit purpose of the event is to promote the creation of startup businesses formed around technologies developed in the university labs, and to foster closer ties between our country’s world-class research universities and New England’s venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. The universities participating in the symposium are known for their history of producing breakthrough technologies in the life science, energy/cleantech and information technology market sectors. Commercialization of these technologies leads to the formation of new businesses and, in some cases, entirely new industries, driving the innovation that fuels the U.S. economy. In past years, nearly 50 projects from 27 universities, including Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Carnegie Mellon, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Purdue, Penn State, USF, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers etc have presented to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at the event. Importantly, some of those projects have successfully raised equity since presenting presenting at URES while others are still in incubation phase.
If you are aware of interesting research at universities, national labs or other research institutions that could/should be commercialized by startups, are aware of recent university spin-outs that may have left campus but haven’t raised institutional financing yet, or are an investor or entrepreneur who should be invited to this event, please do not hesitate to reach out. Also, please let your friends and colleagues know about this event as well. Deadline for submissions of projects for 2011 URES is January 14, 2011.