From Research to the Real World

Emory-launched companies show success

The results are in from the first comprehensive survey of Emory’s seventy-two start-up companies.

Todd Sherer, associate vice president for research and executive director of Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer, says the survey, which was several years in the making, is the most complete report to date on Emory’s start-ups and their economic and societal impact.

“We’ve found that our start-ups are very successful in a number of different metrics, from attracting funding, to getting products to market, to creating jobs in Atlanta and elsewhere,” he says.

Emory spins out three to six companies per year, says Sherer, and approximately 80 percent of its start-ups have been created since 2000.

Of Emory Start-Ups

  • 10 (14 percent) went public
  •  9 (13 percent) were merged or acquired
  •  44 (61 percent) are based in Georgia
  •  53 (74 percent) are still active
  •  31 are in drug discovery/pharmaceuticals,
  •  17 in medical devices, 6 in diagnostic tech- nologies, 9 in software, and 9 in other fields
  •  30 products went to market from
  •  20 different companies
  •  1,200 workers were employed, at peak

Emory Start-Ups Received More Than

  •  $85 million in non-dilutive funding (requires no equity in return)
  •  $1 billion in private investment capital
  •  $314 million in public investment capital
  •  $13.5 billion from mergers and acquisitions

Universities are under increasing political pressure to assert, measure, and improve their impact on national well-being, with attention primarily on economic growth, job creation, and competitiveness, found a Brookings Institute study last year about university start-ups. 

“Universities receive significant public resources for research, and policymakers wish to hold them accountable for those investments,” according to the report.

From discovering natural antitumor compounds and developing new drugs to treat hepatitis C, tuberculosis, or Parkinson’s disease, to creating safe and effective HIV vaccines and inventing devices to improve heart surgery or lessen depression, Emory start-ups demonstrate daily the impact of academic research
on our lives, says Sherer.

“Start-ups are a way to deploy early-stage technologies that have not been able to be placed with an established company,” he says. “And often the engagement of the faculty inventor as cofounder of the company ensures a more personal commitment.”  

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