Entrepreneurship and the Commercialization of University Research in Engineering
Michael McCorquodale, PhD, CTO and a Member of the Board,
Mobius Microsystems, Detroit, Michigan.
Entrepreneurship and the process of commercializing university research in engineering are described from experience. Specifically, the typical path for moving a research project into a commercial venture is presented. University resources supporting the development of such a new venture are discussed and include prototype development, team-building, business plan development, grants, IP protection, and licensing. It will be shown that successful completion of these activities form the foundation of the new venture and prepare it to be “spun-out” of the university. Challenges from this point are discussed and include fundraising, office establishment, infrastructure development, recruiting, the sales and marketing efforts, and technology refinement. Throughout the seminar, challenges presented by so-called “facts on the ground” are explored including entrepreneurial culture, maturity of university resources, incentives for new venture creation, education in entrepreneurship, and the consolidation of capital to certain regions of the country.
Dr. Michael S. McCorquodale received the BSE degree with honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997. For the next year, he was with Hughes Space and Communications Co. in El Segundo, CA where he developed GHz InP and SiGe ICs. In 1998, he began graduate work at the University of Michigan where he completed the MSE and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering in 2000 and 2004 respectively. While at Michigan, he was the sole national recipient of the AFCEA Doctoral Fellowship in 2002. In 2003, he received the University of Michigan CoE Harry B. Benford Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for his efforts in founding Mobius Microsystems with his faculty advisor, Dr. Richard B. Brown. From 2004 to late 2005, Dr. McCorquodale served as the CEO, CTO, and Chairman of the Board at Mobius Microsystems where he raised over $10M from angel investors and tier-1 venture capitalists, secured the first customers, co-developed the company’s IP portfolio, and was awarded for the largest high-tech job creation in the State of Michigan by Governor Granholm. Currently Dr. McCorquodale is the CTO and a member of the Board at Mobius Microsystems.