Fundamental Programme 100 Series

IP104 AUTM Startup Course: Startups and Spinouts - A Business Development Perspective

10, 11, 17 and 18 Nov 2022 (Online Class)

2 hours per lecture, 8 hours in total

Startups are vehicles through which university innovations can make a societal and economic impact. The path startups take towards commercialization can vary significantly depending on the technology being commercialized, the roles faculty take in the startup, and the marketplace in which the startup will compete. Decisions made before, during and after the formation of a startup can dramatically impact the potential for success – or failure. This course will guide the audience on how to optimize a startup’s odds for success. Join us for content-rich topics and collaborative discussions to learn how you can effect change and support startups at your institution.

10 November 2022

9:30am - 11:30am

Topic: Why go down the Startup path?

Startups are a difficult endeavor to pursue. They consume a tremendous amount of time, effort, and resources. They are often impacted by events and circumstances that seem beyond the startup's control. And as we know, the success rate for startups is very low. Over 90% of startups will fail at some point. Yet despite all the obstacles and challenges, startups can be very rewarding for both the faculty and the institution. Here we explore the key elements to discuss when deciding to go down the startup path.

  • Introduction
  • When a startup is appropriate and necessary
  • Faculty expectations, contributions, and limitations
  • Team composition
  • Funding considerations and challenges
  • Growth and Exit

11 November 2022

9:30am - 11:30am

Topic: What leads to startup failure? Points of concern for university startups and ways to reduce the risk.

There are many things the TTO can do to help support the success of the startup company. Some of these are likely to exist at the university/research institute already, but they may need modifications to fit the needs of the startup. In this session we explore the most common causes of startup failure and some of the programs used by universities to reduce some of those risks before licensing the technology to the startup. We also look at methods to monitor the progress of these programs and their impact.

  • Common causes of startup failure
  • Programs within the university to reduce the risk
    • Asset Development - GAP Funding
    • I-Corps - Lean startup program
  • Ways to measure progress and program success

17 November 2022

9:30am - 11:30am

Topic: Company formation and license

The Business Plan for each startup will depend upon a number of variables. We will examine some of the most common elements necessary to launch a new company.

  • Technology development plan - Path to market
  • Roles & Reponsibilities
  • Funding needs
  • Company registration
  • Conflict resolution / Licensing

18 November 2022

9:30am - 11:30am

Topic: Additional resources critical to support the startup effort

Startups typically require a wide variety of resources to advance the technology from a research lab to a successful product or service. One of the most important requirements is funding. Additionally, the startup will also need business advice, facilities, and support. Depending upon how the Tech Transfer Office is structured, much of this support can occur within the university before the technology is licensed to the company. Other resources will need to come from the local ecosystem. All are critically important to launch the startup and maximize the probability for success. We will discuss these resources and how each can be applied to the startup process.

  • Startup Funding
    • Funding sources
    • Preparation for fundraising
  • University Resources
    • Intellectual Property Management, Conflict of Interest and Licensing
    • Venture Development Team
  • Ecosystem Resources
    • Startup team members - Leadership
    • Domain Experts
    • Incubator, Lab space, Prototyping facilities

Target Audience

University researchers, executives of technology transfer office, IP owners and executives of local startups/ small and medium enterprises

Course Structure

Course consists of 4 lectures, 2 hours per lecture, total 8 hours

Course Format





Free of charge



Please select “Intellectual Property Department” as the organisation inviting you to the course in the web form

Priority in registration for the course will be given to enterprises that have joined “IP Manager Scheme PLUS”.


  1. This course is provided by AUTM.
  2. The course is jointly organised by the Intellectual Property Department, the Knowledge Transfer Office of City University of Hong Kong and the Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the organisers reserve the final rights to accept any registration and participation.