Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are the author’s alone. Sarah Mote is marketing director for UMKC Innovation Center and KCSourceLink.
The right introduction, at the right time, can make a world of difference.
Tech entrepreneur P.J. Piper came to Kansas City six years ago to scale another venture. What he had: entrepreneurial experience in taking a product to market. What he was looking for: new and innovative technologies to potentially take to market. But, being new to town and KC’s tech scene, he didn’t have an expansive network with the local research institutions.
Whiteboard2Boardroom (W2B) was created as a partnership between four regional schools – UMKC, University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College and William Jewell College — and now partners with such service providers as KCSourceLink the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center. Since inception, W2B has worked with numerous innovations resulting in: 39 new startups, 154 new jobs and $35.4M in follow-on funding.
Whiteboard2Boardroom (W2B) was created as a partnership between four regional schools – UMKC, University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College and William Jewell College — and now partners with such service providers as KCSourceLink the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center.
Since inception, W2B has worked with numerous innovations resulting in: 39 new startups, 154 new jobs and $35.4M in follow-on funding.
That’s where Jim Baxendale and Whiteboard2Boardroom came in. After attending one of Whiteboard2Boardroom’s monthly webinar series, Piper became aware of the drone technologies Dr. ZhiQiang Chen was developing.
Baxendale then introduced Piper to Chen, a professor of structural engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. While Chen developed the innovation, Piper saw an opportunity and together the two created Aware Vehicles.
Click here to read more about Aware Vehicles, which is bringing autonomy to drone operation, using high-speed imaging to advance our agriculture, transportation and public safety infrastructure.
Aware’s mobile smart docking solution eliminates the need for farmers to manually control drones, while providing enough timely data for machine learning to detect crop stress fast enough for farmers to save crops and enhance yields.
Without the need of human intervention, this cutting-edge technology has the ability to meet the needs of a variety of industries. Aware Vehicles has since obtained funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and was recently selected by Black & Veatch and LaunchKC for their highly competitive accelerator program focusing on sustainability and infrastructure solutions.
Whiteboard2Boardroom is a key resource for early-stage entrepreneurs in the region — connecting them with new innovations they can take to the marketplace.
A region-wide collaboration, Whiteboard2Boardroom curates innovations from 22 research institutions, hospitals and corporations across Kansas and Missouri. The program then connects entrepreneurs and established businesses to technologies available for licensing in the bi-state region to accelerate the commercialization of technology.
Whiteboard2Boardroom continuously works with a number of innovations in the region to help advance them to the marketplace.
To share these innovations with the broader community, Whiteboard2Boardroom hosts monthly webinars. During the webinars, researchers and technology transfer professionals from partner institutions present technologies available for licensing. The webinar sessions consist of eight- to 10-minute pitch presentations of each technology available for licensing as a new startup company or to an established business.
Webinar attendees are invited to participate based on their interest in commercializing new innovative technologies either as new startup companies or as new products in an existing company’s product portfolio.
Attendees who show an interest in learning more about a technology opportunity work with Whiteboard2Boardroom staff to connect with the intellectual property owners and receive confidential information that assists in making a decision on whether or not to move to a licensing negotiation.
Click here to learn more about technologies have been developed with the help and connections of Whiteboard2Boardroom.
If you have an interest in learning more about licensing university or hospital technologies and attending this month’s W2B webinar, email Jim Baxendale at firstname.lastname@example.org