By Published: March 5, 2019

The domestic economic impact of commercialization activities at CU Boulder over the last five years amounted to a staggering $1.9 billion, according to the recently-released Economic Impact of Tech Transfer on the State and National Economy report.

The study was conducted by Brian Lewandowski at the Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business, a CU Boulder organization that conducts economic impact studies and customized research projects for the university and local business communities.

The study also estimated that Venture Partners at CU Boulder (formerly the Technology Transfer Office) activities from FY 2014-2018 accounted for:

  • $10.1 million in licensing revenue to CU Boulder (fees CU Boulder collects for allowing other entities to use technologies it owns)
  • $48.7 million in commercialization-specific grants awarded to CU Boulder
  • $151.1 million in inferred sales by licensees related to CU technology
  • $593.6 million in capital funding raised by startup companies commercializing CU Boulder technologies
  • 223 license and option agreements signed (which grant companies rights to proprietary CU Boulder technology and intellectual property)
  • 40 startup ventures spun out of CU Boulder technology

Beyond campus, the report estimated that of the $720.6 million in technology transfer-related activity, $592.4 million was recorded in Colorado, leading to an economic impact of $1.2 billion on the state’s economy and $1.9 billion in impact to the nation’s economy.

Venture Partners at CU Boulder which drives the campus’ commercialization activities, restructured in recent years to boost entrepreneurial support for CU Boulder innovators and expanding partnerships with the business community to create a leading commercialization ecosystem.

That new focus resulted in new programs like the Commercialization Academy and Destination Startup and innovative resources like boot camps on customer discovery, pitch coaching and networking opportunities with industry experts. So far, the new plan seems to be paying dividends.  

“Early indications are that our comprehensive approach is paying off, as evidenced by nearly double the number of invention disclosures, licenses and startups since our strategic reset,” said Brynmor Rees, associate vice chancellor of Research and Innovation and managing director of Venture Partners at CU Boulder.

Download the full report here.