Technology Commercialization Course
The Technology Commercialization Courses (“TCC”) are the third leg of the Technology Development’s Office educational program. They are four credit, graduate level courses taught in the evenings through the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) of the School of Management. They are normally held on Monday evenings in the School of Management.
The TCC only works if the students are truly inter-disciplinary, and to that end there are cross-listings in LAW and all of the Science Schools. This facilitates graduate students finding the course and receiving tuition remission for it.
The Course Numbers are:
Bench to Bedside (Fall Semester):
GSM HR 801
ENG EK 731
LAW LA 997
GMS MS 621-A1
MET AD 895
SAR HP 839
Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (Spring semester):
GSM SP 838
ENG EK 730
LAW LA 996
GMS MS 620-A1
MET AD 895
SAR HP 838
The subject of both courses is the innovative transformation of knowledge into commercial products and services. For a full syllabus and schedule click here. Cross-disciplinary teams of students will assess real technologies for their commercial potential via either licensing and/or venture development. The course begins by examining concepts associated with technology commercialization. Concepts are introduced that improve and accelerate the commercialization process, from decisions made by scientists at the research bench, through the development, patenting, and licensing of new technologies, to the formation of entrepreneurial enterprises. The Course is taught by the Executive Director of the Technology Transfer Office, Dr. Ashley Stevens, with about 25% of the lectures given by guest lectures who are hands-on practitioners of technology commercialization. Wherever possible, case studies will be used from Boston University’s own commercialization experiences in life sciences, information technology, alternative energy, and nanotechnology.
The courses have four objectives:
- To understand the key concepts and options in technology commercialization.
- To understand how to assess technologies for their commercialization potential.
- To understand the steps that a technology goes through in the journey from the laboratory to the marketplace.
- To explore the roles that intellectual property protection and licensing play in the commercialization process.
The courses are intended for students who are interested in translating their research into the commercial marketplace and for students who are interested in a career in intellectual property management or early stage ventures.
There are two major and one minor assignment in this course.
First Look Technology Assessment Project
Students will form teams to screen and evaluate a very early stage technology, and perform a “First Look Technology Assessment & Enhancement”. This technology will be “real”, a technology that students bring to class themselves or chose from a short list prepared by Professor Stevens from current Boston University inventions for this assignment. The assignment will involve both primary and secondary research. The First Look Technology Assessment Project will be due by Class 7.
The goal of a First Look Technology Assessment is to get an early indication of commercial interest in an idea, invention, or area of research. The primary benefits of the reports are the potential partners/licensees that can be found along with a basic understanding of the worth of the technology. In cases where inventions are not well received by the commercial marketplace, the reports can give early warning signals that the proposed area of research or proposed patent may be a non-starter and further investigation is needed prior to funding either more research or a patent submission.
Teams will be provided with a detailed description of the content of a First Look Technology Assessment and guidelines for the team presentations. Each team will submit a written version of the First Look Technology Assessment Project and make a 20-minute presentation to the class.
Elevator Pitch Assignment
Students will be required to prepare and give, without notes, a two minute “elevator pitch” in which they are using a chance encounter in an elevator with an investor of the student’s choosing who just happens to be the perfect person to invest in the student’s company. The investment can be at any stage of a company’s life cycle – start-up, venture-stage or IPO.
First Look Venture Assessment Project
Students will form teams to screen and evaluate a technology, and perform a “First Look Venture Assessment”. This technology will be “real”, a technology that students bring to class themselves or chose from a short list prepared by Professor Stevens from current Boston University inventions for this assignment.
The goal of a First Look Venture Assessment is to get an early indication of commercial interest in a technology to determine whether it is indeed the basis of a fundable company. The financial and human commitments involved in establishing a new venture substantially exceed those required for an affirmative decision to commercialize a technology through other means such as licensing, and a much more in depth investigation is necessary. If the conclusion is indeed a “go”, then the output will be the core of the venture’s first business plan.
Teams will be provided with a detailed description of the content of a First Look Venture Assessment and guidelines for the team presentations. Each team will submit a written version of the First Look Venture Assessment Project and make a 20-minute presentation to the class.