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cover art for episode 112 with Tatiana Litvin-Vechnyak

Tatiana Litvin-Vechnyak: Overcoming Georgetown’s spinout challenge

Weirdly, being located at the heart of the US capital doesn’t always help Georgetown University when it comes to creating spinout companies. State universities often have economic development mandates that they can follow, but in Washington DC Georgetown is in something of a vacuum — with little direction for what to focus on, less set funding and fewer people pushing to advance the technologies coming out of the institution.

Tatiana Litvin-Vechnyak, vice-president of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) admits she underestimated the problem when she joined from Rutgers University a year ago, but she is finding ways to work with universities in Maryland and Virginia and creating links with federal and city officials.

One of the innovations that Litvin-Vechnyak has brought in since she joined the OTC is a highly structured — and large — internship programme. The first cohort of eight students is going through this programme right now. It’s helping Litvin-Vechnyak, who started as an intern at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, not to lose sight of what she found exciting and challenging when she first joined the profession.

UMDNJ would merge with Rutgers University in 2013, and she tells us how she navigated the complex task of negotiating a new, unified IP policy with two legacy faculties and unions.

*Thinking of coming to our GCVI Summit in March? Listen to the episode to get an exclusive 10% discount on tickets!*

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