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September 2013 Newsletter

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Highlights from our September 2013 Newsletter:

A note from Board Chair Alex Sink
EXMO brings event-goers together
A nonprofit group that helps students become entrepreneurs.

To read our newsletter, please click here.

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UF among nation’s leaders in startup launches

The University of Florida reports that it helped create 15 startups last year.Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 9.01.00 AM

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida helped create 15 startups last year, ranking fourth nationally just behind leading institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to a new report.

In fact, MIT, with 16 startups, and UF were bested only by the entire University of California and University of Texas systems, according to statistics from the Association of University Technology Managers, or AUTM.

“This is a testament to the collaborative relationship between UF’s world-renowned faculty generating discoveries and the Office of Technology Licensing working to bring together the elements necessary to create successful startups,” said David L. Day, director of the OTL. Day’s team of intellectual property managers connects UF inventors and their technologies with the companies that turn them into products that improve people’s lives.

The AUTM report also shows that in 2012, OTL ranked 11th in the U.S. in the number of licenses and options granted (129). Licenses and options are valuable measures, Day said, because they demonstrate that investors believe an invention or technology is commercially viable.

“University research has become an important driver of economic development,” Day said.

UF’s reputation as a business starter is growing and has been recognized recently in other venues.

In July, UF’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator was ranked “World’s Best University Biotechnology Incubator,” according to an international study conducted by the Sweden-based research group UBI.

In addition, the Florida Innovation Hub at UF reported in August that it has contributed to the creation of 250 jobs in just its first 20 months and the three-story incubator already has more than two dozen tenants.

Further, in the past 12 years, UF OTL has launched nearly 140 biomedical and technology startups. They include:

Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC)
AGTC uses gene therapy to develop long-lasting treatments for patients with genetic disorders.
Gene therapy replaces broken genes with normal functional genes, allowing a patient’s own body to produce proteins to treat his or her illness. A single treatment provides long-lasting benefit – sometimes even for a lifetime – leading to a better quality of life for patients worldwide.

AxoGen Inc. seeks to provide surgeons with solutions to repair and protect peripheral nerves. The company has created and licensed a unique combination of patented technologies and has a rich pipeline of new products to change the standard of care for patients with peripheral nerve injuries.

Prioria Robotics is an unmanned systems company dedicated to making unmanned aerial vehicles smarter. Prioria believes a smart UAV is more useful and more efficient in improving the lives of customers. The company delivers cost-effective and innovative solutions to civilian and commercial markets, as well as to the nation’s military.

Shadow Health
Shadow Health is a multidisciplinary educational software developer of rich learning environments and Digital Clinical Experiences™ (DCEs). Using the Shadow Health DCE, educators increase clinical efficiency, giving them more time to focus on student achievement. Shadow Health develops these educational environments to address critical issues facing the national and global health care systems – maintaining quality of care in the face of deepening provider shortages.

Xhale creates novel patient-centric monitoring solutions, from patient monitoring to medication adherence to anesthesia monitoring. Led by a highly experienced management team with a proven track record of success, the company is driven by quality, innovation and excellence.

See more UF startups here http://research.ufl.edu/otl/startup.html.

OTL was established in 1985 to work with inventors to facilitate the transfer of UF inventors’ ideas to industry partners who turn the discoveries into products that are changing the world. UF faculty members disclose to the university’s intellectual property managers an average of 300 new discoveries generated from the more than $640 million in research annually.

Read more about OTL at http://www.otl.ufl.edu/.


Our Issues Tampa Bay

Florida Next President Ned Pope discussed small businesses during an “Our Issues Tampa Bay” segment for WTTA MyTVTampaBay.com.



Guest Blog: Taking a Page from New Jersey’s School Book

By James Chan
Research Director, Florida NEXT

Guest Blogger James Chan

Guest Blogger James Chan

As a child of immigrants and the first in my family to earn a college degree, education plays a major role in my life. The direction of our state’s education policy scares me.

I recently learned about the Rutgers Future Scholars Program, which invests in the future of about 200 low-income middle school students every year. The university provides these students with multi-year support through mentors, summer prep classes, leadership-building activities, SAT prep, tutors, and counselors. Students are promised free tuition at Rutgers if they work hard enough to gain acceptance into the school.

The results of the pilot program are in: Of the 183 students who entered the program five years ago, 163 are now headed to college in the fall, including 98 to Rutgers on full scholarships. This case study shows that a child’s life is not predestined based on socioeconomic status and serves as a wake-up call to provide extra support to ensure success.

Meanwhile, in Florida, education leaders have raised standardized test requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program significantly while students from low-income backgrounds are unable to afford private SAT prep tutors. This sends the wrong message to Florida families and students.

Policymakers in Tallahassee are making it difficult for disadvantaged students to earn a higher education. Without providing Florida students the necessary support that Rutgers has done for New Jersey students, we should not expect them to all of a sudden earn high scores on standardized exams.

Rutgers is showing the nation that an early and long-term investment in low-income students can result in high achievement. The Rutgers program has been so successful that it received a grant to hold a three-day conference in November so communities around the nation may develop similar programs. Florida policymakers need to take a front-row seat.

As a former recipient of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and a student from a low-income background, the free tuition has been crucial to my college career. Florida shouldn’t be making it difficult for low-income students to attain an affordable college education. When a segment of our population fails, our state fails.

So let’s learn from Rutgers University: invest in all of our children early, and equip them with the skills to revitalize our economy for years to come.

James Chan is a second-year Master of Public Policy student at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Research Director at Florida NEXT this summer.