Building New Revenue Through Technology Transfer at Schools of Education

Today’s EdWeek highlights the recent infusion of venture capital into the education sector, and profiles the story of the development of a research-based literacy tool created by faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development into a start-up company called Early Learning Labs, launched this month:

Universities Generate Ideas, Support for K-12 Startup Companies (EdWeek, May 15, 2012)

Eduventures research suggests that opportunity exists for schools and colleges of education to develop research-based tools and products into profit through similar means.  In June 2011, Eduventures released the report Understanding and Identifying Innovative and Entrepreneurial Business Models for Schools of Education, which outlined several methods for Deans and SOE leaders to consider to build revenue outside of tuition dollars, including developing marketable products and/or partnering with for-profit companies to do so.  These partnerships are common across schools of business, engineering, or medicine, but are still rare among schools of education.  However, as the “education industry” grows, so does the opportunity for revenue through these means for universities.

In addition to the University of Minnesota example profiled by EdWeek in the article cited above, a few examples of this have surfaced through Eduventures relationships with institutions and organizations across the country.  For example, Stanford University and Pearson have partnered to develop and market new performance assessment measures for schools of education, namely, the “TPA” which is currently being piloted in several states.  In addition, 2Tor partnered with USC to successfully co-develop and co-market USC’s fast growing online MAT program that leads to initial teacher certification.

What potential might exist to build revenue through similar “technology transfer” at your school/college of education?  Ask yourself these questions as you consider the scholarly work that your faculty are currently engaging in – there could be more opportunity than you think.  Also, take the time to talk with fellow Deans and leaders at your university in business, engineering, or medicine to learn more about how they have developed revenue via these means in the past.

Eduventures members of the Schools of Education Learning Collaborative can download the full report, Understanding and Identifying Innovative and Entrepreneurial Business Models for Schools of Education, by clicking here.

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