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I am currently in the half of my PhD in computer science, and I would like to build a start-up from the algorithms I developed. I have doubts whether is the case to involve my advisor in this:

  • If I do it, we could make a university spin-off. In this case my fear is to lose the ownership of the project (I would like to lead the company), and the independence of the company itself from the university (we should in some way be linked with it, I think).
  • If I try to do it independently, I lose the precious logistic help that the univesity can offer; also with university help, I guess it might be easier to find partners or persons who want to collaborate.

So, I am confused on which might be the best way to proceed..

any advice/experience to share?

1 Answer 1

First things first, you need to find out whether you even have the option to do it independently of the university. Since you have done your work at the university, the university likely owns at least part or possibly all of the rights to commercialization of your work.

Most universities have somethings like a "Technology Transfer Office" whose goal is to help turn university research into startups and/or licenses to existing companies. These folks are often quite happy to work with you to help clarify the intellectual property situation and to help make connections that can support you in building a spin-out.