AUTM Eastern Meeting: Top Ten

Industry Posts

AUTM Eastern Meeting: Top Ten

Two weeks ago, our office was privileged to take part in the AUTM Eastern Regional meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. We learned a lot, met new cool people, and ate some really great food. It was such a wild ride, it took weeks to settle down and write this blog post. (Editor’s Note: This was supposed to publish last week — Oops.)

We would be remiss if we didn’t share some of our experience with you. So without further ado, here are our top ten experiences from the AUTM Eastern Regional meeting.

 

10: TSA Pre-Check

For some of you this might seem trivial, and to those people I say you must have never experienced the sheer bliss that is TSA Pre-Check. Everyone knows there is no better way to start off a trip than by taking off your shoes and belt, digging through your carry-on for every possible electronic, and throwing away any stowaway liquid bottles. Then walking through the metal detector for it to go off, then you have to walk back through because that quarter you thought lost when you were paying for that biscuit you didn’t need was actually there the whole time. Wait, none of that is fun you say? It sure looked like it as we expediently strolled through the dedicated Pre-Check line and did none of it. We actually felt left out and thought about going back through and joining the seemingly endless wait time, then the awesomeness that is the speedy Pre-Check line hit us and we came to our senses.

9: Gigantic Turkey Legs

 

IMG_0005

Rick and Chris with their turkey legs.

Our first night in Raleigh was spent dining with our friends from Meunier, Carlin, and Curfman LLC. Once everyone had found their way to the downtown Marriot, we marched to a quaint little restaurant called the Raleigh Times. The Raleigh Times was a dimly lit restaurant resembling an old fashioned reading parlor with menus printed to appear like a newspaper, which initially caused quite the confusion. After large helpings of nachos – topped with good ole Eastern style Carolina BBQ — and fried pickles were consumed, it was time for entrées. There was a wide range of food from my fish and chips to shrimp tacos to a single blueberry topped with balsamic dressing. The most
interesting entrée came when I looked to the opposite end of the table to our director, Rick Swatloski, and Chris Curfman eating a ginormous smoked turkey leg that could easily have been confused with a toddler’s leg. Seriously they were so huge, I began questioning whether I was in Raleigh for a high tech conference, or in Bedrock dining with Fred and Barney. The legs looked awesome and the entire meal was outstanding, culminating in banana pudding that was insistently ordered by our friend John Z. – who will get his moment in the spotlight later in the countdown.

8: Couch to 5K Goals in tact

I know eating heaping helpings of nachos, giant turkey legs, and banana pudding may not sound like we kept these goal intact, but we promise we did. See, our office is participating in a campus wide training program called Crimson Couch to 5K. During the program, we need to log our physical activity as we progress to a 5K. Let us tell you that throughout the entire conference we kept moving. We walked everywhere that was feasibly possible in dress attire. Scout’s honor.

7: Startup Ecosystems of the Research Triangle

During the first full day of conference, we sat in on a session detailing the inner workings of the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystems of Duke, North Carolina, and NC State. Despite their rivalries on the hardwood, these three schools work extremely well together. Seriously, Democrats and Republicans should come perform a case study of how people who don’t see eye to eye come together to achieve common goals. These three schools believed in putting the right people in the right places to see start up ideas succeed. So, maybe the idea was created at UNC, but a Duke student could have the connections and know how to get it to market. These two would then work together to bring the idea to market. It was really refreshing to hear. Another interesting aspect of their ecosystem is the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund. This fund allows for four to seven awards of up to $75,000 for university-based start-ups. It uses external reviews to help provide feedback to the entrepreneurs and allows the technology to get ready for licensing or add-on funding.

6: Reception at the Stockroom

To finish off day one was a networking reception at the Stockroom. It was walking distance from the hotel, so of course, we got our steps on and made it over. After all, we have to keep up our 5K goals. At the reception there were cavalcades of awesome such as good food, good beverages, and good conversation. Need I say more? No? Moving right along.

5: Software and Peer to Peer Lending

Software is seemly easy to develop and commercialize, which of course, means it is difficult to protect and defend. To help educate ourselves, so we can share with everyone at UA, we decided to check out the Protect and Accelerate: Commercialization of Software and Information Technology. Lots of interesting topics where discussed, but might be a bit techy for this blog post. Additionally, John Austin from Groundwork Labs provided copious peer to peer lending websites that can be used not only for software based business but anything under the sun. Definitely a great resource for our entrepreneurs!

4: Web Portal Submissions are Actually Read

You know those standardized web portals that all the big companies have? The ones that force you to fill out web forms and submit a text file? The same ones that you submit to and think no one is ever going to read this? Are we the only ones that think this? If you do think this, then we have good news for you. During one of the industry forums, we were given a glimmer of hope when the industry panel said there were dedicated personnel to making sure these submissions find the right department within the company. So keep posting, there is an actual person receiving and evaluating your tech.

3: Industry Lunch

One of the goals of AUTM meetings is to get industry people and tech transfer people together and Eastern Regional Meeting did not disappoint in this regard. All three of us got to eat lunch with various industry representatives. Since our technologies tend towards the natural sciences and engineering, we dined with representatives from Eastman Chemical and BASF. It was a great experience to learn more about the companies and what types of technologies they are seeking. We made some great connections for sure!

2: Design Patent Seminar

Admittedly, we were a bit green on design patents. Of course we knew what they were, but didn’t have much practical experience with them. We attended this session to support our aforementioned friend John Zurawski. John is a patent attorney at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia, who is goofy and ultra-likable. Naturally, we can relate to these traits. During his session, we were privileged to learn many things such as how to monetize design patents and that Rick has 30 pairs of Snoozie slippers. To say that John Z. rocked the stage and nailed the session would be putting it lightly. He took an otherwise mundane topic and turned it into an entertaining and engaging session. We were especially pumped to learn how design patents can be used to protect the user interface of software programs. Now, because of this session, we are starting to reconsider our stance on the patentability of software.

1: Twitter Traction

This may sound simple to some of you, but as a small office, this was awesome for us. We were able to capitalize on the small yet intimate audience at the Eastern Regional meeting. We gained new followers and found new accounts to follow. It was a good couple of days for @UAOTT. Below are some of our tweets from the meeting. We hope you will follow along, as we continue to grow and share our awesomeness.

 

Two weeks ago, our office was privileged to take part in the AUTM Eastern Regional meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. We learned a lot, met new cool people, and ate some really great food. It was such a wild ride, it took weeks to settle down and write this blog post. (Editor’s Note: This was supposed to publish last week — Oops.)

We would be remiss if we didn’t share some of our experience with you. So without further ado, here are our top ten experiences from the AUTM Eastern Regional meeting.

 

10: TSA Pre-Check

For some of you this might seem trivial, and to those people I say you must have never experienced the sheer bliss that is TSA Pre-Check. Everyone knows there is no better way to start off a trip than by taking off your shoes and belt, digging through your carry-on for every possible electronic, and throwing away any stowaway liquid bottles. Then walking through the metal detector for it to go off, then you have to walk back through because that quarter you thought lost when you were paying for that biscuit you didn’t need was actually there the whole time. Wait, none of that is fun you say? It sure looked like it as we expediently strolled through the dedicated Pre-Check line and did none of it. We actually felt left out and thought about going back through and joining the seemingly endless wait time, then the awesomeness that is the speedy Pre-Check line hit us and we came to our senses.

9: Gigantic Turkey Legs

 

IMG_0005

Rick and Chris with their turkey legs.

Our first night in Raleigh was spent dining with our friends from Meunier, Carlin, and Curfman LLC. Once everyone had found their way to the downtown Marriot, we marched to a quaint little restaurant called the Raleigh Times. The Raleigh Times was a dimly lit restaurant resembling an old fashioned reading parlor with menus printed to appear like a newspaper, which initially caused quite the confusion. After large helpings of nachos – topped with good ole Eastern style Carolina BBQ — and fried pickles were consumed, it was time for entrées. There was a wide range of food from my fish and chips to shrimp tacos to a single blueberry topped with balsamic dressing. The most
interesting entrée came when I looked to the opposite end of the table to our director, Rick Swatloski, and Chris Curfman eating a ginormous smoked turkey leg that could easily have been confused with a toddler’s leg. Seriously they were so huge, I began questioning whether I was in Raleigh for a high tech conference, or in Bedrock dining with Fred and Barney. The legs looked awesome and the entire meal was outstanding, culminating in banana pudding that was insistently ordered by our friend John Z. – who will get his moment in the spotlight later in the countdown.

8: Couch to 5K Goals in tact

I know eating heaping helpings of nachos, giant turkey legs, and banana pudding may not sound like we kept these goal intact, but we promise we did. See, our office is participating in a campus wide training program called Crimson Couch to 5K. During the program, we need to log our physical activity as we progress to a 5K. Let us tell you that throughout the entire conference we kept moving. We walked everywhere that was feasibly possible in dress attire. Scout’s honor.

7: Startup Ecosystems of the Research Triangle

During the first full day of conference, we sat in on a session detailing the inner workings of the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystems of Duke, North Carolina, and NC State. Despite their rivalries on the hardwood, these three schools work extremely well together. Seriously, Democrats and Republicans should come perform a case study of how people who don’t see eye to eye come together to achieve common goals. These three schools believed in putting the right people in the right places to see start up ideas succeed. So, maybe the idea was created at UNC, but a Duke student could have the connections and know how to get it to market. These two would then work together to bring the idea to market. It was really refreshing to hear. Another interesting aspect of their ecosystem is the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund. This fund allows for four to seven awards of up to $75,000 for university-based start-ups. It uses external reviews to help provide feedback to the entrepreneurs and allows the technology to get ready for licensing or add-on funding.

6: Reception at the Stockroom

To finish off day one was a networking reception at the Stockroom. It was walking distance from the hotel, so of course, we got our steps on and made it over. After all, we have to keep up our 5K goals. At the reception there were cavalcades of awesome such as good food, good beverages, and good conversation. Need I say more? No? Moving right along.

5: Software and Peer to Peer Lending

Software is seemly easy to develop and commercialize, which of course, means it is difficult to protect and defend. To help educate ourselves, so we can share with everyone at UA, we decided to check out the Protect and Accelerate: Commercialization of Software and Information Technology. Lots of interesting topics where discussed, but might be a bit techy for this blog post. Additionally, John Austin from Groundwork Labs provided copious peer to peer lending websites that can be used not only for software based business but anything under the sun. Definitely a great resource for our entrepreneurs!

4: Web Portal Submissions are Actually Read

You know those standardized web portals that all the big companies have? The ones that force you to fill out web forms and submit a text file? The same ones that you submit to and think no one is ever going to read this? Are we the only ones that think this? If you do think this, then we have good news for you. During one of the industry forums, we were given a glimmer of hope when the industry panel said there were dedicated personnel to making sure these submissions find the right department within the company. So keep posting, there is an actual person receiving and evaluating your tech.

3: Industry Lunch

One of the goals of AUTM meetings is to get industry people and tech transfer people together and Eastern Regional Meeting did not disappoint in this regard. All three of us got to eat lunch with various industry representatives. Since our technologies tend towards the natural sciences and engineering, we dined with representatives from Eastman Chemical and BASF. It was a great experience to learn more about the companies and what types of technologies they are seeking. We made some great connections for sure!

2: Design Patent Seminar

Admittedly, we were a bit green on design patents. Of course we knew what they were, but didn’t have much practical experience with them. We attended this session to support our aforementioned friend John Zurawski. John is a patent attorney at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia, who is goofy and ultra-likable. Naturally, we can relate to these traits. During his session, we were privileged to learn many things such as how to monetize design patents and that Rick has 30 pairs of Snoozie slippers. To say that John Z. rocked the stage and nailed the session would be putting it lightly. He took an otherwise mundane topic and turned it into an entertaining and engaging session. We were especially pumped to learn how design patents can be used to protect the user interface of software programs. Now, because of this session, we are starting to reconsider our stance on the patentability of software.

1: Twitter Traction

This may sound simple to some of you, but as a small office, this was awesome for us. We were able to capitalize on the small yet intimate audience at the Eastern Regional meeting. We gained new followers and found new accounts to follow. It was a good couple of days for @UAOTT. Below are some of our tweets from the meeting. We hope you will follow along, as we continue to grow and share our awesomeness.

 

About the Author

Ben Bickerstaff

Ben Bickerstaff is a Licensing Associate at the Office for Technology Transfer. He received an MBA and Master's of Civil Engineering from The University of Alabama.

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