William & Mary supports startup ventures, i.e., companies formed around one or more core technologies developed at W&M. The Technology Transfer Office, in particular, is committed to entrepreneurial efforts as part of its mission to bring W&M technology into the public domain.
Startups are often the most appropriate vehicle to develop a platform invention, and they have the potential to produce significant economic gain for inventors, W&M, and the region. Startups are also a frequent fall-back option when there is little outside interest in a technology, but the inventor is a fervent believer in the commercial potential of the invention and does not want to give up on the invention.
It should be recognized that startups involve more work for everyone involved, and are riskier than a traditional license to an existing company. Furthermore, they are more likely to produce conflicts of interest and commitment. W&M recognizes that these conflicts are inevitable if inventors become deeply involved in commercialization of technology they have invented. Accordingly, conflicts of interest and commitment should not be perceived as inherently negative, but it is imperative that the conflicts are acknowledged, transparent, and managed.
The TTO will support W&M startups, and interested faculty should contact the TTO. There are many resources available to potential entrepreneurs, including links on this website, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to seek and gather information from many sources.