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IP Training Programme - Fundamental Programme 100 Series


AUTM Start-Up Business Development Course

8, 10, 15 and 17 Dec 2020 (Online Class) [COURSE ENDED]

Startups are a key mechanism through which researchers can make a societal and economic impact on the world. This course will guide startup team supporters on how to maximize a startup’s odds for success. Join us for content-rich topics and discussions to learn how you can effect change and support startups at your institution.

Course Contents

Date: 8 December 2020

Time: 9:30am – 10:00am

Topic: Welcome and Introduction to Start-ups

What is a start-up? Why do them? How are they formed and nurtured? University start-ups are typically created to commercialize research for public benefit; to recruit, reward and retain faculty; to promote growth in the local economy and to generate income. Start-up success depends on a number of variables, only some of which can be controlled or predicted.


Time: 10:00am – 11:05am

Topic: Understanding and Fostering an Entrepreneurial Mindset and Culture

Having an entrepreneurial mindset has a different impact on culture than being an entrepreneur. How do you foster this mindset to achieve a culture of entrepreneurial activity? Explore programs that engage faculty and students within the context of their research as well as foster relationships with entrepreneurs, companies and investors.

Time: 11:05am – 11:15am

Questions and Wrap-up

Date: 10 December 2020

Time: 9:30am – 10:10am

Topic: Building a Team

Attracting and retaining talent is arguably the most important element of a successful start-up. The management team, early talent, board members, advisors and other key individuals are critical. Identifying and engaging them, however, can be challenging. Explore strategies and programs for talent engagement.

Time: 10:10am – 11:05am

Topic: Funding a company

Start-up companies must continuously work to identify and secure funding throughout their early years. But what are appropriate sources, at appropriate intervals and appropriate amounts? We will discuss potential funding sources for stages of development, including grants, crowdfunding, industry sources, personal relationships, angel and venture capital investors.

Time: 11:05am – 11:15am

Questions and Wrap-up

Date: 15 December 2020

Time: 9:30am – 11:05am

Topic: Supporting Start-ups: Gap Funds, Incubators, Accelerators and More

This module will discuss university-related gap funding strategies, physical infrastructure support such as incubators, accelerators and network programs which can all add value in supporting start-up companies through their early growth.

Time: 11:05am – 11:15am

Questions and Wrap-up

Date: 17 December 2020

Time: 9:30am – 10:05am

Topic: Policy Issues: Conflict of Interest, Intellectual Property and Licensing

University start-ups create a number of challenges to the institution’s relationship with its faculty and students. Clear policies as well as a plan to communicate expectations are necessary to ensure both a successful start-up ecosystem as well as protect the university and its faculty and students.

Time: 10:05am – 10:35am

Topic: Start-up Ecosystem

The African proverb says, “it takes a village to raise a child.” It may also be said that it takes a village to raise a start-up. Engaging numerous stakeholders, networking and connecting are vital parts of supporting a start-up ecosystem.

Time: 10:35am – 11:00am

Topic: Measuring Impact

As start-up programs evolve, so do the number and ways of measuring them. Discuss quantitative and qualitative approaches to measuring impact.

Time: 11:05am – 11:15am

Questions and Wrap-up


Prof. Keith Marmer

Keith Marmer serves as chief innovation & economic engagement officer at the University of Utah. In this role, Keith has transformed the culture of commercialization at University of Utah, launching three accelerators, a business incubator and a venture fund to support startup companies, facilitating the creation of 52 companies in four years, and generating more than $60 million in university revenue from licensing and industry collaborations. His strong leadership skills come from 30 years of experience as an inventor, entrepreneur and investor. He has three patents, launched three companies, and helped entrepreneurs raise more than $1 billion in investment capital. Previously, Keith was co-founder and managing director of SG3 Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage life science companies. Prior to SG3 Ventures, Keith was chief business officer at Penn Center for Innovation, University of Pennsylvania. Before his university-based commercialization roles, he was an entrepreneur, founding and scaling two companies and co-founding a consulting firm that advised early-stage growth companies. Across his career, Keith has launched, help to launch or overseen teams responsible for starting more than 140 companies. Keith serves, and has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards and is a past entrepreneur-in-residence at Princeton University. He received an MBA, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from University of the Sciences.

Photo of Prof. Keith Marmer

Mr Paul J. Corson

Paul J. Corson is Deputy Director and Sr. Director for Entrepreneurship at the University of Utah’s PIVOT Center.  PIVOT leads the University of Utah’s centralized and integrated strategy and operation for technology commercialization, corporate engagement and economic development.  Paul’s responsibilities include catalyzing the regional ecosystem, supporting aspects of invention management and patent prosecution, and leading comprehensive efforts to form, launch, and grow startup companies.

Previously, Paul was Chief of Staff for the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the University of California Office of the President, where he spearheaded efforts across the UC System to enhance, expand, and promote technology commercialization, as well as student and faculty entrepreneurship. 

Paul has also held executive-level positions in the public and private sectors, including Executive Director of Innovation Fund America; acting director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the U.S. Department of Commerce; and at multiple startup companies in the United States and abroad.  Paul began his career as Country Director, Caucasus for a USAID-funded business development program.  In that capacity, he developed over 50 assistance projects for entrepreneurs and businesses in Armenia and Georgia. 

Paul holds an MA in International Relations from The George Washington University and a BA in Political Economies from Franklin and Marshall College.  Both degrees included a concentration on Soviet and post-Soviet studies.  He also completed an executive management program at Singularity University. 

Photo of Mr Paul J. Corson

Dr Jacob Johnson

Jacob Johnson has a strong passion and history of knowledge-creation and relationship-building in the innovation community. Currently, his firm, innovosource, supports research institutions in the development and launch of university gap fund and accelerator programs. This effort is supported by over 15 years of focus on the evolution and impact of these funds at over 300 universities, hospitals, and labs through the Mind the Gap initiative.

Prior to innovosource, Jacob was a consultant to the DOD DARPA Microsystems Technology Office, and a founding member of three, technology transfer, business development and corporate relations units at the University of Minnesota.

He is also the author and investigator on multiple reports on tech/startup gap funding, incubator/accelerator models, and university-industry partnerships.

Jacob received BA degrees(biology, business) from Luther College, and an MSMOT-an executive business degree focused on managing/leading in high-tech and innovation intensive environments-from the University of Minnesota, which included residencies in England, Malta, Russia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Reference sites:

Jacob Johnson LinkedIn:

Innovosource Homepage:

Gap Funding Resource Site:


Photo of Dr Jacob Johnson

Course Information

Target Audience

This course is for start-up companies, SMEs, technology transfer offices and university researchers only

Course Structure

Course consists of 4 lectures, 1.75 hours per lecture, total 7 hours

Course Format





Free of charge




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



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