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How to Start a company at the University of Houston

If you are a UH Faculty, Student or Staff and want to go down the path of creating a new venture using the intellectual property created at the University of Houston during your employment, you are in the right place!

Here are the steps that will help you through this journey

After you have submitted an invention disclosure form to Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation (OTTI) and filed a provisional patent application with USPTO, done your due diligence and drafted your business plan. It’s time to take the next step.

When you work with OTTI, we share your goal: to advance University of Houston technologies from lab to market to benefit the world. Because your long-term success means furthering this mission, we’re here for you long after the license agreement is signed to educate, accelerate, and provide support.

Let’s get to work.

Here’s a walkthrough of the process:

  1. On your own or with a OTTI Commercialization Strategist’s help, determine the feasibility of your startup. Carefully evaluate the market for your innovative solution and its accessibility to a startup, understand the value of the Intellectual Property as well as any additional development and/or rights your technology would need before it’s ready for market.
  2. Recruit founders will actively participate in your company and their roles. Build an executive team that will lead the license negotiation process with OTTI. OTTI will not move forward with license negotiations until a team is recruited
  3. Founding team must include a business advisor and an individual not affiliated with the University of Houston
  4. Please reach out to the Startup development team if you are having trouble finding Founding team members for assistance
  5. Develop your business plan. Your plan explains the strategy behind your new company and OTTI will use this document to help you determine the viability of your plans.
  6. Develop a financial plan with projections for at least 3 years. The financial plan will be reviewed by OTTI Startup Development Team and comments will be provided leading the license negotiations
  7. Licensing negotiations can only begin after the business plan and financial plan are approved
  8. OTTI Licensing team will not negotiate with a UH employee representing the startup due to Conflict-of-interest issues
  9. Disclose this entrepreneurial activity to the UH Conflict of Interest Committee for establishing a conflict-of-interest plan.
  10. OTTI Licensing team will not execute a license with a UH employee representing a startup company without an approved Conflict-of -interest plan
  11. If you need additional time to evaluate the commercial potential of your technology or develop your full business plan, you can request a three-month standstill period from OTTI. During this time, OTTI will keep the technology available for potential licensing to your new company.
  12. Submit your business plan to the Startup Development (See our Contact Us page to search for OTTI team members.)
  13. Refine your business plan through conversations with OTTI.
  14. Establish your startup as a legal entity so you can enter into license and equity agreements with OTTI.
  15. Negotiate and execute licensing or option agreements with OTTI.

After your agreements are set, UH Technology Bridge will be available to your startup on an ongoing basis to provide support. There are milestones and obligations that will be outlined in your agreement that you’ll meet and there are commitments that we’ll fulfill as well.

For a more detailed step-by-step guide and additional resources please refer to our Start-up Guide here

Explore Post-licensing Support at the UH Technology bridge

UH Technology bridge can be the home for your new company. Some of the infrastructure and resources available for UH Faculty entrepreneurs can be found here.

If you are interested in exploring the facilities, please fill out a webform here and request a tour or email us at You can also reach out to the Start-up development team for any questions.

One of us will reach out to you to set up a meeting and understand your needs. OTTI will review your request and based on the availability of space, we will identify the next steps.

UH Technology Bridge also offers support in writing SBIR/STTR grants, access to advisors through the UH SBDC, access to mentor networks and investors in the community.

UH Technology Bridge Innov8 Hub offers accelerator programs every semester in partnership with UH SBDC. These founder-run and driven programs can help you with launching your company, creating a business plan, forming a pitch deck, and developing a commercialization plan for your SBIR or STTR application.

Which companies are eligible to be part of the UH Technology Bridge

At the UH Technology Bridge our goal is to build a robust and diverse ecosystem. We are always looking for the most exciting and innovate technology companies across all sectors to be part of our community. Bridge. Most of the recruitment is on case-by-case basis, but following are a few criteria that we generally look for

  • Must be start-up company, broader industrial partnerships with bigger companies are also welcome
  • Must be looking to build some connectivity with University of Houston, partnerships could be licensing University IP, establish research collaboration with UH research programs, recruiting UH students, sponsoring research at University of Houston labs
  • UH Alumni, Faculty and Student startups are Welcome to apply

If you are not ready, you can schedule a one-on-one consulting time to explore startup opportunities with the Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation.