Research to Revenue

A Practical Guide to University Start-Ups

By Don Rose, Cam Patterson

Foreword by Herbert W. Boyer, cofounder of Genentech

352 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 16 figs., 30 tables, appends., notes, index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2526-3
    Published: January 2016
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2527-0
    Published: January 2016

Luther H. Hodges Jr. and Luther H. Hodges Sr. Series on Business, Entrepreneurship, and Public Policy

Buy this Book

University start-ups are unique in the world of business and entrepreneurship, translating research conducted at and owned by universities into market-ready products--a complex process that requires a combination of scientific, technical, legal, business, and financial skills to be successful. Start-ups have the potential to generate revenue for universities, enhance faculty recruitment and retention, create jobs, and create investment opportunities for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Research to Revenue presents the first-ever comprehensive guide to understanding, starting, and managing university startups. By systematically describing the process of translating academic research into commercial enterprises, Don Rose and Cam Patterson give a thorough, process-oriented, and practical set of guidelines that cover not only best practices but also common--and avoidable--mistakes. They detail the key factors and components that contribute to a successful start-up, explain what makes university start-ups unique, delineate the steps of building and managing them, and describe how to foster and maintain start-ups at a university. Written for faculty and staff working on campus, tech-transfer officers, university administrators, and venture capitalists unfamiliar with university structures, Research to Revenue ensures that any reader unfamiliar with technology commercialization and entrepreneurship will understand the fundamentals of the process, including intellectual property rights, fund-raising, and business models. This work is an invaluable resource for the successful formation and well-managed operation of university start-ups.

About the Authors

Don Rose is director of Carolina Kickstart and adjunct lecturer at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information about Don Rose, visit the Author Page.

Cam Patterson is senior vice president and chief operating officer at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
For more information about Cam Patterson, visit the Author Page.


“Explore[s] the unique facets of university entrepreneurship, from recognizing when theoretical research can result in practical products to managing conflicts of interest between faculty and administrations. A complex and timely topic.”--BizEd

“A solid introduction to the process of commercializing laboratory-discovered innovations through the startup approach.”--Science

"Well-crafted, readable, and quite interesting, this practical primer will guide university inventor-entrepreneurs in navigating the start-up process from disclosure through firm formation and fund raising."--Martin Kenney, University of California, Davis

"Using applicable real-world examples, Don Rose and Cam Patterson elucidate the mechanics of transitioning from academic to applied research. Research to Revenue provides a broad view of the entire enterprise, from initial concepts through successful exits."--Michael Kinch, Washington University in St. Louis

"In Research to Revenue, Rose and Patterson shed light on how universities secure, protect, and commercialize intellectual property, with a heavy emphasis on the start-up approach. Nowhere else is there such a comprehensive practical guide to university start-ups."--David Allen, Tech Launch Arizona

“Don Rose and Cam Patterson have crafted a clear, useful, thorough, readable, objective, and realistic guide to commercializing university research, especially via start-up companies.  It’s a must-read for technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurial faculty members, research administrators, early-stage venture investors, and others involved in this complex but important process.  Perhaps more importantly, as a 28-year practitioner of university technology transfer and commercialization, I highly recommend that university presidents, boards of trustees, and government policy makers focused on innovation-based economic development read this book.”--Mark Crowell, Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and past president, Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)