Forming a spin-out company can be an exciting possibility for academics offering consultancy services or looking for an innovative way of collaborating with partners.
To make the process of setting up a spin out company easier, Enterprise has developed guidance for academics forming a company or interested in forming one. We worked with Imperial Innovation, who are prolific in generating commercially viable research to develop a guidance process for academics to follow which helps them appraise and evaluate the opportunities presented to them. The process is designed to give them a range of tools and process that will enable them to develop an understanding of the commercial viability of their proposition.
In the process an academic may decide that forming a company may not be the best way to exploit their opportunity. Also assuming that there is a valid case for spinning out a company it does not mean that you need to do so straight away; or, if you do form a company, that you need to overlay expensive infrastructure in managing that company. For example, you may choose to develop a Contractual commitment - contractually agree to form a company at some time in the future (usually at some future milestone or the point where you need a new contracting entity). You might decide to form what is known as a Thin company - form a company to hold rights and contracts, but not recruit an executive team until sometime in the future (usually a future milestone or the point where the executive demands of the company are beyond that that can be delivered directly by the shareholders). It may be better to form a Joint venture vehicle - Form a company as a joint venture vehicle with no expectation that it will ever operate independently from its shareholders. It is more likely you will be looking at something that does not justify developing any of these times and simply run it as a standalone project – Do not form a new company, but use some of the company disciplines (boards / governance etc) to manage a limited lifetime initiative.
i2 Media research was the first spin off company from Goldsmiths by Porf Jonathan Freeman in 2002.
- i2 media research is a research and strategy consultancy
- A spin-off from the Department of Psychology
- Digital consumer research specialists, with our expertise in qualitative and quantitative research, development, foresight and consultancy methods, driving innovation
- For more information visit the i2 Media website at i2mediaresearch.com