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MIT Startup Exchange Charges Businesses for Early Access to Spin-offs

MIT Startup Exchange Charges Businesses for Early Access to Spin-offs
Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The MIT Startup Exchange is where companies and MIT related startups can meet and connect in order to collaborate on new technologies and markets [1]. This University is giving businesses started by employees and students (past and present) high value, and the opportunity to reach advisors and potential partners. When it takes high investment—both in the financial and temporal sense—to start a new, research-based company, this support could make all the difference. [2]

The Startup Exchange was started around two years ago and currently includes about 1,600 companies that have been founded within the MIT family. In order to have access to the spin-off and innovative ideas formed by these companies, businesses participate in the liaison programme, costing them approximately €60,000 yearly for this privilege. [2] The purpose of the Exchange is not even to acquire investment or other security opportunities, but to obtain knowledge, have access to potential partnerships or technological breakthroughs, etc. [3].

An additional purpose of this exchange is to promote the startup ecosystem at MIT, supporting the research-based innovation that its students and professors are carrying out [4]. This suggests a new generation of R&D coming from universities, where the researchers themselves are supported in a way that they are able to continue to advance their projects in a sustainable way, promoting the entrepreneurial spirit at the same time. In turn, practices like these could shape the way we think about the value of knowledge created within universities and the potential spin-offs have within our economies.