Entrepreneurship and innovation in Oregon are about to receive a major boost. Thanks to a bill passed by the state's legislature, the Technology Entrepreneurship Program (TEP) affiliated with the Lundquist College of Business is primed to become a major part of the University of Oregon's technology commercialization initiatives.
In its 2005 session, the Oregon Legislature created a $10 million dollar fund via Senate Bill 853 that enables private investors to receive a 60 percent tax credit-not a deduction, but a dollar-for-dollar credit off taxes owed-for gifts that provide seed funding for university inventions and support entrepreneurial education. Such gifts will help emerging technologies and innovations overcome the "valley of death"-the proof-of-concept phase in which many great ideas fail to reach the market because of a lack of funding. In addition, private investment through SB 853 will
- Advance students' skills and knowledge, creating a human capital asset for Oregon economic development
- Build important connections between universities and the business community to move ideas from public and private labs to market faster and more successfully
- Foster the development of new ventures to ensure a strong regional economy.
The TEP will be a key component of the UO's SB 853 strategy. The program is a partnership among the college's Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, the UO Office of Technology Transfer, Battelle Memorial Institute, and the Center for Law and Entrepreneurship at the UO School of Law. Through the program, MBA, law, and science students research the commercialization potential of new technologies and inventions based on marketing, strategic, and intellectual property issues. Private investment through SB 853 will enable the TEP to increase the number of participating students and augment its capacity to bring proven methodologies to more university inventions.
"The TEP is a driving force in the experiential framework of the college," said Randy Swangard, director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and the college's Jeanne and Charles Lundquist Distinguished Entrepreneur. "TEP alumni start companies, run companies, and participate at every level of entrepreneurial business enterprises. It is a great success story!"
Donor support through SB 853 will enable the Lundquist College of Business and TEP to have an even greater impact on the lives of students, businesses, and the economy of Oregon. To find out more, contact Associate Dean of Development and External Affairs at (541) 346-3401.