The Differences between SBIR and STTR Cheat Sheet

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs both provide Small Business Administration (SBA) grants to small businesses for research. The two programs share the same three phases, with separate federal contracts awarded for Phases I and II. Phase I is innovation and research, where the scientific merit and commercial viability of an innovation is studied.  Phase II focuses on the innovation’s development, demonstration and delivery. Phase III involves preparation for commercial rollout and is funded by outside sources rather than the SBA. While the two programs share many similarities, they have some important differences Read More …

Faculty as Start-up Founder: One Man’s Experience

Raymond Dingledine, PhD is Emory professor of Pharmacology and co-founder of Emory’s screening facility. His research focuses on the pharmacology of glutamate receptors and the causes of epilepsy. Dingledine’s has received numerous awards such as the ASPET’s Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology and election to the National Academy of Medicine. He has published over 200 research papers, served as editor of “Molecular Pharmacology,” and sat on the editorial board of “Molecular Interventions.” Ray is also co-founder of Emory start-up NeurOp. In this interview he shares some of his thoughts and experiences as co-founder of a company. Tell Read More …

First Person Experience with the Kauffman FastTrac® Course

Cherry Wongtrakool is an associate professor of pulmonary medicine and a medical director at the Atlanta VA. She recently completed the Kauffman FastTrac® course and shares her experience. Tell me about your background/research interests. Were you always interested in research that had commercial potential? I am a pulmonologist and I take care of patients. The reason why I enjoy research is because I want to be able to add to the body of knowledge that translates directly into helping my patients. I will say that I probably did not go into research with the thought that I would be doing Read More …

What Can be Learned From One of the Most Infamous Startup Failures: Theranos

In 2015, after enjoying a few years as Silicon Valley’s most in-demand startup, Theranos, the blood-testing company named for the portmanteau of “therapeutic” and “diagnostic,” was the subject of a groundbreaking article in the Wall Street Journal. Whereas previous profiles had focused on Theranos’ promise to revolutionize healthcare, as well as the company’s eccentric founder, Elizabeth Holmes, the Journal uncovered an unsightly truth in their reporting – Theranos had never developed technology close to the level of sophistication as they claimed. Within the next two years, the company completely imploded. Theranos’ mission originated in Holmes’ famed phobia of needles. In Read More …

Emory Start-ups Continue to Have Impact, Success, and Products to Market

In 2014, OTT published a comprehensive survey of all start-up companies founded on Emory intellectual property. The results proved Emory to be an economic hub in the South, generating not only private and public investment capital, but also job growth and life-saving products. Across the 72 companies surveyed at the time, 1,200 workers had been employed at peak, mostly in the areas of drug development, diagnostic materials, and software-based products. These start-ups cumulatively raised more than a billion dollars in funding and brought 30 different products to market. Now, five years later, OTT has updated its survey, unquestionably demonstrating the Read More …

An Introduction to Investor Pitches

You’ve filled out all the paperwork, organized all your patents, developed your prototypes, and maybe started selling products. Your company has reached the point where if you want to get any further, you’ll need some money. It’s time to pitch to investors. The biggest mistake you can make when developing a business pitch is thinking that what you’re pitching is simply a business or a product. Investors hear of great ideas and promising businesses constantly. A key element that distinguishes one company from the next is the people running it. Try to pitch the team behind the company. A great Read More …

The Small Business Administration: Its Resources and Opportunities

Getting a startup off the ground is a grueling task. What’s harder is working through the process alone. Luckily, the U.S. federal government recognizes the value in entrepreneurship and as such, works to support small companies through various resources offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). In this article, we will highlight the key resources offered by the SBA broken into four categories. Funding Programs For its funding programs, the SBA mostly acts as a mediator between lenders and small businesses. For instance, interested entrepreneurs can utilize the SBA’s Lender Match service, an online referral tool that connects small businesses Read More …

Business Plan Example

This is the companion post to our introduction to business plans, you can find that post here. Executive Summary MotionBud Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets a practical and portable non-pharmaceutical approach to motion sickness that prioritizes style, comfort, and effectiveness. Our mission is to lead the motion sickness relief market in the development of novel solutions that target the inner ear, our brain’s motion sensor, directly. Our FDA approved device is the first of its kind on a market that traditionally favors OTC drugs and acupressure wristbands. As roughly 50% of the world’s population suffers from motion sickness in some Read More …

Getting Started with a Business Plan

A business plan outlines a company’s goals and the strategies by which it achieves these goals. Typically, a business plan consists of: a) an executive summary, b) a description of products or services, c) industry overview/market analysis, d) marketing and sales strategies, e) operations/execution strategy, f) competitive analysis, g) description of management team, h) financial statement and i) an exit strategy. Below is a high-level description of each of these components. A business plan starts with an executive summary, an overview of the business plan. This operates as a reader on the company and is meant to concisely communicate its Read More …

Corporate Structures for the Newbie

Choosing a corporate structure isn’t just an exercise in paperwork – it determines the company’s tax status, as well as its relationship to potential investors and managers. In this regard, it is one of several key decisions to be made in the early life of your startup. Generally speaking, there are four primary considerations that can guide this decision-making process. These are a) tax requirements, b) access to outside funding, c) level of legal protection, and d) administrative obligations. Below is an outline for a handful of common corporate structures relevant to university-based startups focusing on these elements. C Corporations Read More …