As an English major, Orin Herskowitz was an unlikely candidate for the science heavy world of technology transfer. However, after overcoming the initial imposter syndrome he felt when he became part of the technology transfer team at Columbia University, he realized that the field requires people with a wide range of skill sets, and he quickly found his feet.
As Orin explains today, universities have four main purposes; training the next generation of world leaders, pushing boundaries of knowledge through basic research, engaging with local communities, and driving change in the outside world. Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) is able to create a very meaningful impact outside its walls through the approximately 200 patents, 120 commercial license agreements, and 15 to 30 new companies that it brings to fruition every year.
In addition to these incredible metrics, they also have a Lab to Market Accelerator Network, programs with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, a podcast hosted by Orin, and close relationships with numerous external organizations. Tune in today to find out more about the work going on behind the scenes of this transformative institution!
In This Episode:
- [00:53] What Orin’s educational and professional journey has consisted of up until today.
- [03:11] Why Orin went to work at the Boston Consulting Group, and how this led him to the field of technology transfer.
- [06:03] Imposter syndrome that Orin struggled with when he went to work in Columbia’s technology transfer office.
- [06:43] The realization Orin had about the value he brought to tech transfer.
- [07:46] Categorizing Columbia’s approximately 400 inventions per year.
- [08:42] Patents, license agreements, and new companies coming out of Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) each year,
- [09:29] How CTV’s focus, and thus Orin’s role, has expanded over the years.
- [11:36] The “economic miracle” of Boston.
- [12:29] Columbia’s Lab to Market Accelerator Network, and how it originated.
- [15:52] Four new Accelerators that Columbia launched this fall.
- [16:48] Metrics which highlight the success of the Lab to Market Accelerators.
- [19:15] How core staff and support staff are distributed throughout CTV.
- [20:43] The CTV program which focuses on diversity and inclusion, and how they are hoping to expand it.
- [22:47] Assumed privileges in the technology transfer realm, and how CTV is trying to help those without them.
- [23:57] Orin’s motivation for starting a podcast.
- [26:25] I share what inspired me to launch Tech Transfer IP.
- [30:44] Constraints that many technology transfer offices, particularly at smaller universities, struggle against.
- [33:40] The four purposes of universities.
- [34:51] How Columbia is fulfilling its obligation to drive meaningful impact in the outside world.
- [36:15] Multifold benefits that arise from engaging with institutions outside of the university setting.
- [36:53] Some of the organizations that Columbia has a close relationship with.
- [38:35] Orin shares one of CTV’s biggest success stories.
- [43:19] A challenge being faced by CTV, as well as many other technology transfer offices.
- [45:18] The collaborative nature of the technology transfer field.
- [46:59] Orin’s involvement with AUTM, and the value he sees in this organization.
- [47:47] Other groups within and outside of the technology transfer realm that Orin is involved with.
- [49:26] Gratitude that Orin feels for his team and his job.
Leave a Reply