August 25, 2003

Pilot VentureLab comes to Emory market

By Holly Korschun

The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), in collaboration with the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), has launched a pilot project that may establish the basis for an Emory VentureLab that performs a function similar to an existing office at Georgia Tech.

VentureLab is a GRA strategy for enhancing and accelerating the process of spinning new technology-based enterprises out of university research. As a one-stop center for technology commercialization, VentureLab provides a clear pathway from laboratory innovation to commercial market, offering assistance to faculty members throughout the process.

Through a grant from the GRA, Emory has launched a pilot project to proactively seek out departments and individual researchers who may be conducting research with commercial potential. OTT representatives are meeting with department heads and individual researchers to discuss research projects and new technologies that may have the potential to form the basis for new business ventures.

“Although there has been an increase in faculty interest in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization in recent years, OTT has not until now had the resources to take an active role in providing assistance to fledgling new ventures,” said Mary Severson, assistant vice president and chief technology officer. “Through this assessment, OTT will be able to evaluate the breadth of opportunity for startup companies and design a VentureLab program that will meet these commercialization needs, utilizing in part the technology transfer resources already in place at Emory.”

A positive by-product of the assessment, Severson explained, is that it will provide an opportunity to educate Emory researchers about the technology transfer process and the resources available to investigators for commercialization of research findings.

When Emory’s project moves past the pilot phase into its operation mode, VentureLab experts will help evaluate the commercial potential of University research innovations, connect faculty members to experienced entrepreneurs with the track records necessary to attract outside funding, and assist in developing a strategy for transforming a laboratory discovery into a commercial product or service.

To learn more about Georgia Tech’s VentureLab, visit For more information about OTT’s VentureLab pre-assessment at Emory, or for recommendations of investigators who might be conducting research in specific departments with commercial applications, contact Katharine Caesar at