In this episode of Tech Transfer IP, Lisa is talking with Louise Epstein. Louise is the Executive in Residence at the Austin Technology Incubator (affiliated with UT Austin) and a principal advisor with the Larta Institute. In both positions, she provides business commercialization advice to science-based startups. Before Larta, Louise was the Director of University Partnerships for the Walton Family Foundation, where she crafted grants for maximum impact. While there, she wrote “12 Critical Components of University Technology Commercialization,” which has served as a primer for many technology transfer offices interested in creating startups.
Louise shares her journey from public service to Tech Transfer, why she ended up in tech transfer, and how her career in public service has helped her grow in the field. Lisa also discusses her work with the Walton Family Foundation and how working there was different yet in some ways similar to working in tech transfer.
Louise talks about the paper she wrote on the 12 Critical Components of University Technology Commercialization. She believes a university’s IP policy affects and impacts faculty, staff, and startups and how a simple policy change can transform and energize the faculty and their attitude toward innovation.
Louise talks about funding for startups, the challenges she sees with GAP funding, and how she believes startups can find experienced CEO’s to run the company. She also discusses why she believes it’s important for startups to have off-campus office space, affordable professional services, and an engaged business community. Louise ends the conversation by sharing what her incredible career has meant to her.
In This Episode:
- [02:40] Welcome to the show, Louise!
- [03:10] Louise shares how she went from public service to running a company and ultimately to Tech Transfer.
- [04:24] What was it about tech transfer that resonated with you?
- [05:26] Listen, as Louise speaks about how her public service time helped prepare her for Tech Transfer.
- [08:33] Louise talks about the differences and similarities of working in Tech Transfer versus working for a Foundation.
- [10:23] Louise discusses what she does at the Larta Institute.
- [12:57] Lisa lists the 12 Critical Components of University Technology Commercialization that Louise wrote about.
- [14:01] Louise shares why she believes a University’s IP policy can create fear in faculty, staff, and startups.
- [16:15] Louise believes that a simple policy change can energize and transform the faculty and their attitude toward innovation.
- [18:12] Do you have any examples of where a University had a policy that encouraged collaboration?
- [20:23] Louise talks about the four questions she poses regarding culture and her recommendations for each.
- [22:26] Louise shares her experience with students that are founders of startups out of a professor’s lab.
- [25:00] Louise speaks her thoughts for tech transfer offices around making a licensing versus a startup decision.
- [26:11] What programs do you recommend to the startups to help facilitate their advancement?
- [28:17] Louise says that business communities want to know what the Universities are doing.
- [30:11] Louise talks about some funds that are available for startups.
- [32:44] Louise shares the challenge she sees with GAP funding.
- [34:24] Listen as Louise discusses how startups can find experienced CEO’s and what the benefit of having one is.
- [36:01] What is the importance of first clients/customers of the startups?
- [38:35} Louise speaks about why startups need to have off-campus office space and affordable professional services.
- [40:50] Louise shares why it’s important to have an engaged business community to interact with University startups.
- [42:37] Louise talks about Robert Metcalf and the honor of working with him.
- [44:00] Looking back, what has your incredible career in Tech Transfer and startups meant to you?
- [46:08] Thank you so much for being on the show!