When Rick Huebsch joined the Technology Commercialization office at the University of Minnesota almost 14 years ago, it was in need of a major reboot. Through financial investments and staffing the office with industry-experienced people (including Rick, who had 20 years of experience in the software industry), the office has been transformed, and Rick, who is currently the Executive Director, has played a very valuable role in this transformation!
Rick’s office is now a standard fixture in the top ten rankings for technology transfer metrics. This past year saw them achieve a record number of license agreements (236, to be exact), and they are on track to reaching their goal of launching 25 startups in the year 2025! With their commercialization metrics steadily growing, Rick’s office is now also placing a lot of emphasis on enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Tune in today to hear about the numerous factors that make Rick’s office stand out, some of the successful companies that they have helped get off the ground, some of the challenges that they are currently facing, and more!
In This Episode:
- [00:52] An introduction to today’s guest, Rick Huebsch
- [02:07] Rick’s experience in the software industry, and how he found his way into the technology transfer space.
- [03:35] The role of Rick’s Technology Commercialization office at the University of Minnesota, and how the office has been rebooted since he became involved.
- [07:14] Structure and size of Rick’s office.
- [09:40] Rick explains the aim of their Tech Commercialization Fellows Program.
- [11:00] Statistics which demonstrate how successful the past year was for Rick’s office.
- [14:06] How the University of Minnesota’s Venture Centre works, and how it helps startups survive and thrive.
- [18:57] The funding ecosystem that exists for start-ups in the Minnesota area.
- [22:15] Rick explains how things have changed for his office with regard to corporate partnerships over the past few years.
- [26:54] Some of the major success stories to come out of the University of Minnesota.
- [33:12] Challenges that are currently facing the technology transfer sector, and how Rick and his team are dealing with them.
- [35:06] The work that Rick’s office is doing to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion.
- [39:04] Technology transfer organizations that Rick and his team are involved with.
- [41:24] Three wishes that Rick would want to have granted if they were possible.