I want to start a company

TTBD supports innovation at OHSU by assisting in the launch of new companies based on OHSU research discoveries and intellectual property.

Steps to Launch

Step 1: Submit a Technology Disclosure to TTBD

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Begin the technology transfer process by submitting the Technology Disclosure Form. This disclosure is the first confidential written description and formal documentation of a new invention to OHSU. The document should also include the names of all collaborators and co-inventors and their affiliations. 

Note: When filling out the Technology Disclosure Form, you should provide as much detail as possible about the invention to allow for our team to make a comprehensive assessment when evaluating your new technology.

Before you continue with the process, it is also advised that you contact and inform your chair/institute director of your intent to start a company.


Step 2: TTBD startup meeting with potential founders

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Any potential founder interested in forming a startup should contact TTBD. TTBD will form a Startup team that is comprised of a Technology Development Manager, a Business Development Associate, and the Director of Business Development and often may include a Patent Associate. This TTBD Startup team will meet with the potential founders, often the inventor(s), to review and discuss the general path to incorporation and company launch, as well as the resources and tools available from TTBD to assist the founders throughout that process.

Forming a startup company is an iterative process. Many meetings with the TTBD Startup team may occur before launching the company. The first meeting with the Startup team is to discuss general steps to launch and available resources.

In subsequent meetings, potential founders may expect the following items to be discussed regarding the potential startup:

  • Development risks
  • Competition
  • Development costs versus investment return
  • Commitment and involvement of inventors
  • Management – experience, passion and drive
  • Potential funding sources
  • Product/service strategy
  • Market size, dynamics and potential
  • Financial ROI
  • Timeline


Step 3: IP assessment and decision as to viability of a new startup

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After you submit the Technology Disclosure Form, your invention is assigned to a Technology Development Manager (TDM) in the Technology Development and Licensing group. After the TTBD Startup team meeting, the TDM will then perform a preliminary assessment for commercialization and IP protection along with the Patent team.

Once it is considered that there is a strong position for commercial potential, the startup team assigned to your invention may request to file a provisional patent application. The TDM will present their findings to you on commercial viability/IP protection and it can be further evaluated as to whether a startup is a viable option or not.


Step 4: Option/License negotiation & approval process

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Once the potential founders have met with the TTBD Startup team to discuss the process and decision to license certain IP into a new startup, the next step is to negotiate an option or license agreement with TTBD. The lead person on the negotiation will be the assigned Technology Development Manager. This process is interactive, commonly taking several iterations before both the Startup team and the licensee (i.e the startup company) come to a mutual understanding on the terms of such option or license.

Once the license terms have been agreed upon by the TTBD Startup team and the startup company, the next step is for TTBD to obtain approval from the Vice President of TTBD and the Senior Vice President of Research. The Director of Technology Transfer and the Director of Business Development jointly send their recommendations to the Vice President of TTBD and the Senior Vice President of Research for their approval and to provide notification of the new startup. If approved, the option or license can be executed with rights being granted to the new startup company.

Note: It is advised that you contact and/or read more about Conflict of Interest at OHSU throughout this process. After the startup has been formed, the TTBD Startup team will inform the Office of Integrity as to the existence of the new company and its founders.




Startup Guide

OHSU Startup Guide

The OHSU Startup Guide provides an overview of the processes for forming a startup company at OHSU. This handbook reviews relevant OHSU policies that faculty, student or staff members need to know; serves as a reference tool for OHSU; and provides local entrepreneurial and community resources that may aid faculty, students, or staff members through the startup launch and development. View the OHSU Startup Guide


Express Option Agreement

Express Option Agreement for OHSU Startups

As of Sept. 1, 2016, newly formed OHSU startup companies have the opportunity to obtain a full license to a technology through the new OHSU exclusive option agreement program. Startups with founders who are OHSU employees or students will have access to a low-cost, pre-approved agreement that companies can quickly complete to enter into a full license agreement. This allows the new startup to focus on evaluating technologies, conducting market research, and raising funding prior to entering into a full license agreement. In general, any technology that has been disclosed to Technology Transfer and Business Development may be eligible for this program. For more information, please refer to the Exclusive Option Agreement for OHSU Startups FAQs or contact Andrew Watson at .


Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR)

Enterpreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program

In 2015, TTBD launched a pilot of their Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program for university inventors, entrepreneurs, and startup companies. The purpose of this program is to connect and facilitate engagement between OHSU's entrepreneurial faculty, staff, and startup companies and seasoned business executives in the local and regional life science communities. The program was established to help identify technologies with commercial promise and provide OHSU researchers with advice and real-world insights about the commercialization and startup process.

OCTRI and Business Oregon

OCTRI & Business Oregon SBIR/STTR Application Support Program

Business Oregon and the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) have partnered to create a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/ Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase 0 Program to help Oregon small businesses access federal funding. The Phase 0 program provides:

  • Written reviews from experienced translational scientists on the awardee's SBIR/STTR application, based on federal criteria
  • Identification of consultants and advisors
  • Recommendations for additional preliminary studies or data analysis
  • Feedback on SBIR/STTR application weaknesses

The total award amount is $5,000. Of this total, $1,275 is paid to the reviewers who provide the application support outlined above. An additional $3,725 can be requested for various SBIR/STTR grant preparation services, such as use of OHSU Cores or marketing consultants.


Lean Business Development Planning System (LBDPS)

Entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a company and/or meeting with an OHSU entrepreneur-in-residence member are encouraged to fill out this preliminary form prior to meeting a TTBD member. Once the form is completed, an entrepreneur-in-residence member will contact you to discuss your idea further. Blank copies are available upon request. Lean Business Development Planning System (LBDPS) - download