Technium Crunches Big Data to Match Entrepreneurs with Researchers

Dallas—Universities and other institutions are chock-full of intellectual property, but it can be difficult for entrepreneurs, interested in turning those ideas into products, to find what they’re looking for.

Now, a Dallas-based firm called Technium has launched an online matchmaking service of sorts to connect “entrepreneurs with the inventors,” says Jonathan Van, Technium’s co-founder. “I know that sounds relatively simple,” he adds. “But everything around that transaction can be rather complex. Our software can help [founders] find innovation in places where no one else would ever look.”

Technium has built a database of patents and what Van calls “scout software” that does a qualitative analysis on what a customer is looking for. Then a cohort of scientists that Technium has hired as contractors go in and further assess the list of patents produced by the data analytics. The idea is to help entrepreneurs who are “looking for X” and wondering who they should be connected to working on this type of innovation, Van explains.

For example, Van points to one customer, Rick Hawkins, a serial biotech entrepreneur in Austin interested in innovative therapies for opioid addiction for his latest company, called Mu Therapeutics. “We found a patent from a hospital in Mexico,” Van says, “in a place that no one else would look.”

For its matchmaking services, Technium takes an equity stake in the new venture; it also gives the scientist “scout” who flagged a successful patent a stake as well. “If they make a personal introduction, we give them a larger percentage. They just have to disclose the relationship,” he says. “We can incentivize people to do what they naturally do, and then share on the upside.”

Given that many new ventures fail, and those that succeed don’t do so right away, Van says Technium is paying its day-to-day bills by offering consulting services, doing what he calls “situational awareness.”

“We look at what are the top 10 patents [the university] should … Next Page »

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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