New partnership promotes WSU faculty innovation


A key partnership has been forged to diversify Kansas’ economy and promote Wichita State University’s faculty innovation.

WSU’s Office of Tech Transfer and Commercialization has aligned with Innosphere Ventures, a Colorado-based incubator and commercialization program that accelerates business success of science and technology-based start-up companies, to commercialize faculty inventors.

“Building relationships with industry partners is key to successfully transferring technology into the commercial marketplace,” said Rob Gerlach, executive director of the Office of Tech Transfer and Commercialization. “Wichita State works closely with local, regional and national entities to accelerate discovery and innovation, and we’re excited to have Innosphere as a new partner that can help us bring cutting-edge technology to the commercial marketplace.”

Innosphere’s University Partner Program works directly with technology transfer offices at leading research universities across a multi-state region to connect inventors with business drivers, facilitate introductions to corporate partners, advance technologies to commercialization, and turn startups into high-growth businesses.

“Moving an invention from the lab to the marketplace and forming a successful company can be daunting, so we’re excited to be a resource for Wichita State’s technical founders and faculty as they commercialize technologies and bring ideas to life,” said Mike Freeman, CEO of Innosphere Ventures. “Wichita State’s tech transfer office meets at the junction of academics and industry, creating a unique innovation effort that is focused on researching and solving industry-focused, real-world problems.”

Innosphere Ventures recently released the Kansas Venture Capital Ecosystem Review which covers investment trends shaping the state’s venture ecosystem and reveals challenges for up-and-coming innovation hotspots such as Kansas. The report suggests that the Kansas startup ecosystem has rebounded since the pandemic year, with very strong venture capital activity in the first half of 2021.

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