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TU Darmstadt has developed a unique approach to licensing

Licensing intellectual property to a spinout can take frustratingly long and end with terms for a spinout that a venture capital investor might not be comfortable with — the university taking too large a share is a typical argument that you’ll hear particularly in the UK. There are initiatives to speed this up. The US has BOLT and the UK has the USIT Guides, template term sheets co-developed by tech transfer offices, investors and law firms to significantly speed up the process. Ireland even has a national IP protocol.

Germany has been lagging behind outside the innovation hotspots of Munich and Berlin, but universities across the country are exploring new models to speed up IP licensing and come up with favourable terms, while removing the upfront financial burden of buying the IP rights from the university (a stifling factor at German institutions).

Today’s episode is a conversation between my colleagues Fernando Moncada and Kim Moore. Kim recently took a look specifically at a new model developed by TU Darmstadt called IP for Shares. What’s the stroke of genius? The university only gets shares in the spinout if there’s an exit.

Follow Thierry Heles on LinkedIn.

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