The TCE Entrepreneurship (TCE-E) section aims to be the first point of reference to TCE members (graduate students and faculty) who are interested in exploring the commercialization of their research. Undergraduate students are encouraged to visit the Bronica Entrepreneurship Center information page.
The information in this page is arranged in the form of a decision tree that leads you to practical information or a pointer to the person to contact to get more relevant info.
This is the first step in a long journey and our aim is to lift some barriers that exist to researchers in the Technion institution that prevent them from commercializing technologies.
Now that you have done some research about the commercialization potential of your idea, read more on how to do it within the framework the Technion has set: TRDF (T3).
Excellent. This is just the beginning and the easy part. To learn more about finding the right partner with the next phases read the team section. Your option then are either to keep on going until you find your partner or let him/her read through and start pushing things forward.
Now, you need to do some research to ensure that your idea tackles a valid pain point in the market. For this you can use the service of the entrepreneurship center that offers consultation services, which usually focus on the initial steps.The first thing to do is to go tohttp://www.yazamut.technion.ac.il/activity/consultancy/
and write a document answering as best as possible the five questions outlined there. Note that this is not something to accomplish in 30 minutes, it requires a lot of research and critical thinking. Once you complete the document, send it to the center and you will receive feedback, advice and a personal meeting to guide you further.
If you get stuck at the point where you do not wish to reveal your idea to a complete stranger, read the next section and then complete the above.
When starting there is also the dilemma of how much to tell and to whom. This is a very subjective matter and depends on the nature of the venture as well. In general, whether your technology is patentable or not, you can tell your story and engage people without revealing crucial information. At the end of the day your venture will live or die depending on the execution and not based on how good the idea was.
Telling a story is a hard task! Each time you tell someone about your idea, you are actually engaging in a sales process since you either need something from that person or you would like them to be your ambassador.
You story should be constructed in a similar way to the document that the Bronica Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) consultancy
services require. Engage the person by telling them about the pain and make the listener relate to the pain, for example: “There is a huge problem of air pollution in Haifa, did you know that each year three people die from it?”, then move on to describe the market size, preferably in dollars so it will be easy to understand you are tackling something big. You can skip the description of the solution you have and move to describe a strong team that has the capabilities to solve it innovatively and has the tools to bring the product to market. In case your team can only deliver a solution, you need to specifically mention that you do not have the commercial abilities for two reasons; first, so people will know you are aware of your shortcomings, second, so that they may connect you with the person who can deliver.
In the above suggested scenario you did not talk about your technology and you can be as extreme as to not give a notion for the solution just saying you have one. Use the fact that you are a researcher in a top technological institution!
Finding the right partner for a venture is of utmost importance and is an extremely difficult task. The person/s you seek will be unique to you and to the type of venture. There are several options at your disposal to look for the right team:
T3 is in touch with “EIRs” (Entrepreneurs In Residence) who are capable people looking to join and form a startup
BEC holds several events a year that can be the right platform to build a team. These events include hackathons, 3 Day Startup and monthly gatherings of its community
Through BEC you can contact several VCs to check with their EIRs
Talking about the idea with friends, family and colleagues can sometime surface excellent people looking for an opportunity to join someone they can trust
All these options, some more than other, require you to be able to talk about your idea in a convincing way so it is recommended in any case to do some market research and confer with BEC to refine the storytelling part.
Definitions of the states used below – the definition is subjective and varies with each case and team:
Very early – there is an idea, but no thorough market research was done and no prototype or demo yet
Early stage – Technical feasibility research was done, idea is pretty formed and there is some document to send around. Might be with or without a demo/prototype – depending on the team’s experience – the more experienced the less they need for this stage.
Seed stage – Silent launch was done and there are some insights as for the quality of the product
Round A – Beta is done, a basic product is out and there are sales. More R&D is needed to feed the product pipeline, but most of the money is used for marketing and expansion.
Anything above – you no longer need this website for reference…
T3 (Technion Technology Transfer Office) is a for profit business and its purpose is to maximize revenues from technologies developed by technion personnel.
This text does not replace the regulations text and cannot be read as a legal interpretation of the document or a legal recommendation.
Each employee (student for higher degrees, faculty, lab assistants) are signed a contract with the TRDF upon employment. The general deal is that the Technion owns the innovation,however it splits revenues 50-50 with the inventor, generally. However, there are several options that can materialize as you can see in the regulations. At the end of the day, as stated in clause 8.6, the Technion can claim 20% in any venture that is pursued even if the invention was not patented and even if the Technion has issued a waiver.
The T3 Regulations can be found here. They are being revised and will be published in the coming year (2014) probably.
TFL (Hebrew) – a mentoring network for Technion Alumni by leading industry figures. Send an email to Tfl@alumni.technion.ac.il or contact through BEC.
Technion Technology Transfer Office (T3) – applying for a patent of a Technion technology, building a venture team to commercialize the technology, commercialization of technologies by licensing to industry player.