U of M's Venture Center Helps Create Tech Companies
The University of Minnesota is on the forefront in creating technology companies that change industry. The ideas for the start-up companies come from professors and researchers within the university.
Omid Souresrafil says he's working with a substance that could someday be a medical breakthrough. It's a technology that can be used to treat certain types of cancer by cutting off blood flow to tumor cells.
"Simply plastic bits made of natural products, for example, shrimp and cellulose," Souresrafil said.
Dr. Jafar Golzarian a professor at the U of M created the technology. The two partnered up and created the start up company 'EmboMedics.'
"As we stand it's a mom and pop company right now. . .But the word is getting around," Souresrafil said.
The Venture Center at the University of Minnesota was interested in their idea. The center is an arm of the university that commercializes technology that comes from a professor or researcher within the school.
"They need an outside partner that has the ability to set the company up, put together the resources both financial and human resources to make it work," Russ Straate of the Venture Center said.
According to Straate, since 2006, 52 technology companies have been created. In the seven years since, 41 of those businesses are still up and running. 'Recon Robotics,' is one of the first companies formed. They make tactical micro-robot and personal sensor systems.
A version of their robot was actually used in the movie "Zero Dark Thirty."
Straate says many professors are becoming business minded. "The culture has been growing leaps and bounds over the last few years."
Souresrafil says, the university owns 25 percent of their company and the rest is owned by them and investors. He says, this isn't just about money but about being on the cutting edge of saving lives.