Whiteboard2Boardroom: Collaborations that Move Technology to Market
In 2016, Kansas City-based EyeVerify sold to Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, for a reported $100 million. That was some of the biggest news to come out of the Midwest in 2016, and it all started five years ago, when Whiteboard2Boardroom (W2B) introduced a UMKC innovation to a savvy entrepreneur.
You can read the full story on EyeVerify here, but here’s the summary, in the words of Toby Rush, CEO of EyeVerify, “It’s taken a village to get us where we are today. It’s going to take a global village to get us to the next level.”
Leveling up businesses is W2B’s specialty. Since 2012, it has helped accelerate homegrown research and innovations into 29 new startups, resulting in 97 new jobs and $15.9 million in follow-on funding. W2B helps innovations go from research institutions to the marketplace by:
Assisting entrepreneurs and startups in finding management candidates
Developing connections to strategic partners
Providing business, intellectual property and regulatory assistance
Securing prototyping resources
Counseling on the review/assessment of a W2B technology opportunity
The program began as a bi-state collaboration among four local area colleges and universities and has grown into a region-wide collaboration of 22 partners, reaching across urban centers and rural communities, from Wichita, Kansas, to Rolla, Missouri.
Here is a closer look at W2B’s impact:
Here are more highlights from the 2016 report:
When Black & Veatch was shopping for innovations to grow new business initiatives, its Growth Accelerator reached out to W2B and subscribed to its Tech Alert System.
In collaboration with U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law, W2B helped in the development of an eight-module program for biomedical and health care researchers at St. Luke’s Hospital.
In 2014, David Hicks and his team obtained the exclusive license to a neutron radiation detection technology pioneered at UMKC and started a business, U2D Incorporated. Now they have turned to W2B to expedite the path to commercialization.
Read more about the companies and partners of W2B in its 2016 annual report
or get involved over at the W2B website