Whiteboard2Boardroom Moves Innovations to Commercialization
You’ve experienced it. In the midst of a regular conversation, a brilliant and innovative idea comes up and just that quickly, it dies. It’s not because the idea isn’t viable, but most likely because the necessary connections and resources are not obvious so it feels like a huge feat.
This is especially true and more complicated in the tech space, with many researchers and innovators realizing that getting to the point of commercialization will take a lot more than a great idea (or self de-icing LED traffic signal or tongue-imaging app or carp deboning device, we could go on and on and on) . Getting that idea off of the proverbial whiteboard and into aroom with some of the region’s most influential and talented entrepreneurs, mentors and investors is no small task.
However, there is help. Meet Whiteboard2Boardroom (W2B), a network of innovation and commercialization.
“W2B has become a clearinghouse for regional commercialization, linking technologies to executive talent and other resources to advance the technologies beyond the research lab.” - Jim Baxendale, Director of Whiteboard2Boardroom
Established in 2009 through a grant from the National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation, W2B connects entrepreneurs and established businesses to technologies available for licensing at institutions of higher education, hospitals and corporations in the bi-state region.. With 1,243 innovations supported since 2012, W2B has been successful in consolidating research technologies, making them visible to the public and helping communities transfer technologies from research institutions into the hands of entrepreneurs where they can be commercialized for market success.
This UMKC Innovation Center program, which began as a bistate partnership among four local area colleges and universities, has grown into a regionwide collaboration, reaching across urban centers and rural communities, from Wichita, Kansas, to Rolla, Missouri. Its 22 research institutions collect more than 500 innovations a year that are available for licensing to established companies or to serve as the basis of a new startup company. This activity has yielded 39 new business starts and 154 new jobs over the past seven years.
W2B integrates university, hospital and industry research into the existing entrepreneurial ecosystem. The focus: Identify game changing technologies and get them into the hands of business owners and talented entrepreneurs. The result: Increased entrepreneurial activity in the region built from new projects and businesses that stay local and grow.
Read more about W2B and their last year in the Annual Report.
Download the W2B Annual Report
Learn more about what Whiteboard2Boardroom has been working on, entrepreneurs that have benefitted from their support and so much more.