Whiteboard2Boardroom efforts result in 129 jobs, 35 new startupsKate Hodel
Whiteboard2Boardroom has facilitated 35 new startups since its inception, and the companies it works with have created 129 new jobs and raised $26.2 million in follow-on funding. W2B was founded in 2009 by a National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation Grant to the UMKC Innovation Center to make the right technology connections between research institutions, hospitals, corporations and entrepreneurs.
“Whiteboard2Boardroom is doing exactly what we had envisioned when we looked for a new way to spur commercialization of innovations in the metro Kansas City area,” said Jim Baxendale, W2B director. “We are able to give entrepreneurs and corporations a very early look at the innovations coming out of area universities, research institutions and hospitals. We help identify homegrown innovations and match them with entrepreneurs who can take them to market.”
The Research Innovation Group at Saint Louis University is the latest partner to join W2B.
“We’re excited about partnering with Whiteboard2Boardroom,” said Malcolm Townes, business development manager with the Research Innovation Group in the Office of the Vice President for Research at Saint Louis University. “We believe it presents an excellent opportunity to attract potential collaboration partners and help spread the word about SLU’s outstanding research assets and innovative technologies that can change lives for the better and improve our society.”
EyeVerify (now called Zoloz) is the most visible example of the W2B process. An innovation from the UMKC School of Engineering, partnered with serial entrepreneur Toby Rush, led to a company that now employs more than 50. Although the company was recently acquired by AntFinancial for a reported $100 million, the headquarters remain in Kansas City. W2B has engaged with more than 700 local entrepreneurs and companies.
Cardioptimus is another example of a successful commercialization. Working with technology from the University of Missouri BioDesign and Innovation Program, the Columbia, Missouri-based company is bringing to market a supplemental safety device for use in transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Their product, the Embolisher, is moving into clinical work and the FDA approval phase.
The program began as a bistate partnership among four local area colleges and universities and has grown into a regionwide collaboration, reaching across urban centers and rural communities, from Wichita, Kansas to St. Louis, Missouri. The 23 regional partners represent more than 400 new innovations each year that are available for licensing or commercialization.
W2B facilitates the connection from innovation to commercialization through a number of efforts. The W2B Tech Alert System matches technologies that are available for licensing from research institutions, hospitals and corporations across the region with local entrepreneurs and established businesses that can commercialize the innovations. Tech Snapshots and webinars showcase the most promising of these innovations and bring them to the attention of investors, community leaders, corporations and potential CEOs.
“Whiteboard2Boardroom has done an outstanding job showcasing the amazing technology that is being created in our regional universities,” said Greg Elliott, director of business development data centers for LightEdge. “Whether it is an in-person conference or a webinar, the tech presented has been very thorough and informative to help determine where to tech can fit into an existing or new company or platform.”
A recent review of the innovations in the W2B pipeline reveal technologies across a range areas:
- Drug development
- Medical devices
“Whiteboard2Boardroom helps create a pipeline of innovations in our region,” Baxendale said. “Our outreach efforts help match these innovations to the needs of business-savvy entrepreneurs and corporations.”
For more information on W2B TechAlert, Tech Snapshots and webinars, please contact Jim Baxendale, [email protected]
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