October 26, 2022

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Translation and Commercialization reports another successful year


This story originally appeared on Duke Today.

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University’s Office for Translation & Commercialization continues to grow and set new records for commercializing innovations, according to just-released fiscal year 2022 data.

Duke spawned 14 new companies in the fiscal year — seven from the Pratt School of Engineering, four from the School of Medicine, and three from other units.

FY 2022 licensing revenue rose to $95.7 million, with 107 new agreements signed. The office received  316 innovation disclosures and 116 US patents were issued

“In our first year partially back from the pandemic, we continue to assist Duke innovators in forming new companies and developing partnerships with existing companies,” said Robin Rasor, associate vice president for translation and commercialization. “We are focusing now on increasing our outreach and resources across campus to further build the pipeline of high-potential technologies.”

With OTC’s support over the past five years, Duke researchers have formed 76 companies that have collectively raised $1.8 billion in investment. Seven of these companies have become publicly traded and nine have been acquired by other companies.

During the fiscal year, Duke Capital Partners (formerly the Duke Angel Network) also joined the OTC’s office. Duke Capital Partners is the largest university angel network in North America, having invested since 2015 more than $47 million in 43 early-stage companies with combined value of more than $4 billion. The network brings together Duke alumni who invest capital and share their time and expertise with startups.

OTC also taps into the talents of Duke’s science and technology graduate students to help startups evaluate the competitive landscape through a program called the OTC Fellows. “Our fellows get a peek behind the curtain of technology commercialization and a great introduction to careers outside of academia,” said Galo Mejia, co-director of the OTC Fellows program.

In the last year, 14 potential startups were matched with Duke MBA students to develop business and financial plans, market assessments and funding pitches through a partnership called the New Venture Fellows. “It’s a unique opportunity to learn valuable strategic marketing skills in a live-fire exercise at an early career stage,” said Jeff Welch, Director of New Ventures for OTC.

“In addition to the OTC Fellows and the New Venture Fellows, [Duke Capital Partners] employs Associates to assist in deal assessment — further demonstrating that our success draws on all of Duke’s talents and creativity to create something larger than the sum of its parts,” Rasor said.

Want to learn more about the innovation pipeline at Duke and inventor successes? RSVP for the free Invented at Duke event, evening of Monday, Dec.12.

Read the FY22 Annual Report