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U Utah Launches Studio for Accelerating Go-to-Market for Campus-Created Software

The University of Utah has launched a new division for commercializing software created at the campus. Summit Venture Studio is a creation of UU's Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center. The center was launched last September as a rebranding of the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization, to continue promoting economic development and serve as a hub for fostering partnerships among the university, industry and government.

The new studio will provide funding and expertise specifically for university software startups, to help them bring their products to market more quickly and efficiently. It will be headed by Peter Djokovich and Taylor Bench, both of whom have served in the previous incarnation of the PIVOT Center. Djokovich was PIVOT's first "mentor-in-residence," and Bench managed the center's equity portfolio.

The two co-managing directors said the studio would work with PIVOT to discover and cultivate software innovation coming from the university, "guiding invention disclosure initiatives and collaborating with software developers to assess their technology and market potential."

"While part of the team at the U's technology transfer office I walked the university halls and met with hundreds of amazing inventors who generated thousands of innovative ideas," said Bench, in a statement. "With hundreds of millions of dollars of research funding going to...university partners to generate new ideas and solutions, there is a giant unmet need to help get these technology advancements to market. We have chosen to focus our efforts on doing this for the software created by cutting edge researchers."

"We've established the Summit Venture Studio Solutions Network as a platform for identifying and collaborating with diverse expertise in the Utah community," added Djokovich. "One of our objectives...is to discover, utilize and develop service providers in order to support our businesses and potential future founders. A second objective is to also discover, utilize and develop management teams for our businesses as exit partners."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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