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  • Writer's pictureBrad Furber

Technology Transfer and Seed Capital

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

How to spin out technology and research from top research universities and institutions with the help of seed capital from outside investors.

Brad Furber recently conducted a term sheet battle event at the Technical University of Copenhagen DTU to teach inventors and entrepreneurs how to secure and negotiate the first round of seed finance.

Event Recording

Ever wonder how entrepreneurs and high-tech ventures "spin-out" technology from top research-intensive universities and other institutions, including how such spin-outs organize and negotiate their first round of seed capital from outside investors? Wonder no more. Term Sheet Battle - DTU (2021) is available as an on-demand recording of the live event between a real institutional investor and real "spin-off" entrepreneur, represented by a lawyer with real experience structuring and closing transactions of this nature. This program demystifies what is mostly a closed and poorly understood process: the first negotiation of a "term sheet" to launch finance and grow the spin-out startup.

It permits the participants to wargame the first rounds of seed finance negotiations and to learn how to get their technology start-up properly structured, financed and off the ground.

Additional Reading

For more information on how to spin out technology to a start-up we have collected a selection of additional reading materials that can be accessed via the hyperlinks below:

University Value Capture and Success Variabilities: Wharton Professor publishes two recent research papers revealing, among other things, that universities capture 16% of the value (in the form of licensing revenues and equity stakes) they help create through ground-breaking discoveries, and (not surprisingly) that some researchers and universities are much better able to commercialize their discoveries compared to others.

Which US Universities Get Most Bang for the Buck?: More than $100 billion is spent by USA on federally sponsored research at universities and other research-intensive institutions. University administrations and other stakeholders evaluate technology transfer offices (TTO) via 1) revenue generated, 2) licenses executed, 3) startups created, 4) invention disclosure forms (IDF) received, and 5) patents issued. How do US universities compare, based on data from 2008–2018.

Not Everyone Is Jumping on the Bandwagon: Two Canadian academics question whether the increasing push to commercialize university research ignores several potential risks, including adverse impacts on research environment, science hype, premature implementation and use of services, public trust, skewed health policy and damage to long-term economic contributions of university research.

Reuters’ identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries. In its most recent list, overall, USA continues to dominate the list, with 46 universities in the top 100. Germany is the second-best performing country with nine universities. France climbs to third, with eight universities on the list; Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom each have 6; China has 4; the Netherlands and Switzerland have 3; Belgium, Canada, Israel and Singapore have 2, and Denmark has 1. Considered on a regional basis, North America has 48 universities in the top 100, Europe has 32 (up five from last year), Asia has 18 (down five), and the Middle East has 2. There are no universities in the top 100 located in Africa, South America or Oceania.

Solid advice from well-known Silicon Valley based accelerator, Y Combinator, for people who have done scientific research at a university and are considering starting a company to commercialize it.

Term Sheet Battle (TM)

If you are affiliated with a leading university or other organisation (e.g., innovation + entrepreneurship centers, learning and teaching organizations, incubators, accelerators, law firms, banks, accounting firms and the like) that would be interested in becoming the title sponsor or co-sponsor of a future Term Sheet Battle (TM) program (each of which are individually created and customized), then please send an email directly to our business development team with the following in the subject line (“I Want to Sponsor a Term Sheet Battle!“):


If you would like to discuss how to raise venture finance or how to set up a technology start-up, please contact Brad Furber at Carsted Rosenberg.

Our Technology Media & Telecommunication (TMT) Tech Law practice advises deal-intensive entrepreneurs, start-ups, and investors in a variety of technology-related industries. Drawing on decades of experience from US West Coast venture and early state financing markets, we adapt and implement US West Coast corporate finance techniques and instruments into the European corporate finance market. The application of tried-and-tested West Coast corporate finance products to US and European TMT and start-up companies is where we excel in the legal market.

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