The New Ventures team (NV) works with Rutgers innovators to evaluate the potential for a startup as a vehicle to bring innovations to the market. If a startup option is selected, NV assists innovators with the planning and development that lead to a spin-out of the innovation. We provide mentoring, access to early-stage seed funding (Genesis), support in obtaining dilutive/non-dilutive funding, assistance with product and business development, and connection to industry and potential business founders (EIR).
Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Program
Finding the right business founder to partner up with is both critical to the success of a startup and a challenging task. To meet this need, New Ventures launched the EIR Program to help pair scientific/technical teams with an experienced business founder. We have recruited EIRs with a track record of success and a “fire in the belly” to launch a startup.
Genesis Seed Fund
Early-stage startups often lack the initial resources needed for basic but important services to put their commercialization effort on the right track. The Genesis Seed Fund helps Rutgers startups jumpstart their operations by providing funds for specific tasks that enable the commercialization process, as well as help, attract interest from investors and industry partners. The Genesis Seed Fund works synergistically with the EIR program to maximize the likelihood of a successful startup.
Rutgers I-Corps™ Site Program
The Rutgers I-Corps™ Site is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the goal of reducing the time and risk associated with translating University innovations into the marketplace. The Rutgers Site focuses on customer discovery – a process of interviewing, learning about, and exploring the needs and “pain points” of potential customers. The Rutgers Site also provides training, mentoring, networking opportunities, and a modest stipend to assist teams with the customer discovery process. Successful completion of the program also enables the team to qualify for the National I-Corps™ Program.
Ongoing Support to Innovators and Startups
The New Ventures team provides ongoing mentoring for Rutgers innovators regardless of the stage of technology. We provide feedback on investor pitch decks, offer our thoughts on the product and business development, and make introductions to potential partners and investors. Given the many complex and subtle—but important—considerations in starting a company, we encourage innovators to contact the New Ventures team as early in the process as possible.
Conflicts of Interest (COI) for Startups
While Rutgers encourages our innovators to be entrepreneurial, conflicts of interest may arise in the process of creating and developing a startup. For one, as a State University, Rutgers and its employees are subject to COI and ethics policies established by State and Federal laws. In addition, the University has its own internal guidelines that may affect the role of the innovator as a shareholder, consultant, or founder in the startup.
Most potential conflicts can be efficiently managed by following key principles of transparency and separation of research/startup activities. The Rutgers Startup COI Committee oversees this process and is ready to help with any questions regarding potential conflicts.