Texas A&M: New Startup Software Partnership Enables Dynamic Support For Texas A&M Spinouts

Texas A&M University Innovation Partners and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Office of Commercialization and Entrepreneurship recently partnered with StartupTree, Inc., makers of a fast-growing, leading software for university entrepreneurship data management. This new platform will track performance and milestones for Texas A&M startups and act as a matchmaker between startups and helpful resources, including business mentors, legal advisors and potential investors.

By analyzing data related to technology transfer, intellectual property management and venture creation at Texas A&M, activities were identified that can help fuel startup companies’ consistent growth in both volume and quality. Chris Scotti, Texas A&M New Ventures Competition (TNVC) chair and director of new ventures at Texas A&M Innovation Partners, along with Lenae Scoggins, TNVC vice chair, and Clare Harwood, TNVC operations manager, recognized a need for a more formalized management system to provide streamlined entrepreneurial support to Texas A&M inventors and startups.

“StartupTree is going to make it easier for our startups to be successful,” said Scotti. “It will be easier for startups to find mentorship, funding and other forms of help they may need to bring a technology to market.”

Leveraging this platform offers Texas A&M inventors an advantage as they take the next steps in commercializing their ideas. “StartupTree will enhance our ability to match appropriate service providers to the needs of these companies while offering an online community for deep-tech new ventures, mentors and service providers alike,” said Saraubh Biswas, TEES Office of Commercialization and Entrepreneurship executive director. “We anticipate this effort will propel our startups toward success at an even faster rate.”

StartupTree is a leading platform for entrepreneurship centers that provides a centralized data repository for reporting venture and participant information while also helping scale programming around events, competitions, applications and mentorship. The company works with a growing network of more than 100 organizations, including Cornell University, Columbia Business School and The University of Texas System, as well as partners like the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

“Technology commercialization is a newer space for StartupTree. However, we anticipate a similar trajectory as the offering for entrepreneurship centers where we work with pioneering directors to develop something truly useful for this space over time,” said Theresa Kim, president of StartupTree. “Already, Texas A&M has influenced the product in terms of data collection, including the ability for mentors and administrators to leave notes on venture profiles. If we can play a role in developing scalable data collection processes for Texas A&M within the platform, we see this paying dividends over time, especially given the trends of external stakeholders being more data-focused.”

“This software platform will make it much easier for us to manage our pipeline of pre-company clients, prioritize opportunities, and match client needs to the right ecosystem resources and partners. Implementing this new management system represents a big step forward for our nascent New Ventures unit”, said Michael Sharer, associate vice president for commercialization and executive director of Texas A&M University Innovation Partners.

Implementation of the platform is currently underway as the StartupTree and Texas A&M teams work to customize features. “The project team between the TEES Office of Commercialization and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partners is working hard to ensure that specialized, innovative features are built in that will cater to the needs of our Texas A&M startup community. We plan to launch our pilot phase later this year,” said Scotti.