Ten Ohio State University faculty members got their speed-dating chops on earlier this spring, but not the sort that should worry their significant others.
First came the warm-up: each gave three-minute presentations on their start-up ideas to more than 60 Columbus-area CEOs and entrepreneurs from a range of fields. The occasion was the first Startup Snapshot event, sponsored by the university’s Technology Commercialization and Knowledge Transfer Office
“The purpose of the event was to showcase our potential startups to CEOs and entrepreneurs, with the intention of procuring business leads and CEOs for them,” explains Brian Cummings, TCO vice president. In addition to the faculty members, one senior economics student also pitched his idea.
“We selected a diverse set of technologies at various stages of development to convey the extensive breadth of research, innovation and technology we have,” Cummings says. “Many people are surprised to find that we’re doing work in a specific area. This enabled them to really get a feel for all of the exciting things we have happening right now.”
Ten-minute round-robin “speed dating” sessions followed the lightning-fast pitches.
“Presenting at Startup Snapshot forced me to distill my idea down into its basic elements, yet allowed for in-depth conversation, too,” says faculty member Jane Wright, curriculum manager for Ohio State Extension. “It was the whole elevator approach but with the added luxury of immediate follow up.” Wright pitched her idea for Total Animal, a technology platform and interactive learning system that teaches and tests users on knowledge of livestock and companion animals in a fun and engaging software application.
According to Cummings, the event was a great success. “The engagement from our researchers and the community was more than we could have hoped for,” he notes. “The event resulted in the scheduling of 25 follow-up meetings, 15 new mentors agreed to become a part of TCO’s expanding mentor network and multiple companies are projected to launch.”
Another Startup Snapshot event is slated for this fall.
Source: Brian Cummings, OSU
Writer: Lynne Meyer