Spinoff Toolkit

This toolkit was developed to provide information on creating a research-driven spinoff. The information will also be helpful when creating a non-research-driven startup too. 

The guide provides information only, not advice. It seeks to interpret, but does not supersede university policies and/or procedures. The resources are not-exhaustive, and not a substitute for inventors’ personal research. The university does not expressly validate the content of outside sources. 

This toolkit is intended for University of Alberta researchers, post docs, graduate students, undergraduate students and staff who are considering commercializing an invention developed at the university, and are interested in exploring spinoff creation. 

Creating a spinoff

Building, launching, and growing a spinoff company takes a tremendous amount of work, commitment, and capital. Most new businesses fail, but the ones that succeed bring tremendous value to their creators and communities. Before deciding to go on this journey, seek advice from seasoned entrepreneurs, discuss with family and friends, and consider your personal and professional commitments.

Every spinoff’s journey is different, and milestones of early companies vary by industry. However, the stages and resources outlined in the toolkit are common to new ventures. The steps presented are not necessarily sequential but are intended as a reference. The university has policies, procedures and agreements that have been created to manage this process and Technology Transfer Services (TTS) can help navigate the commercialization journey.

Spinoff Journey:

  1. Research and Innovation
    This is an important first step that applies to all students, staff, and faculty of the university. If your research has resulted in an invention, the first step in protecting that invention is to confidentially disclose (report) it to the university before publishing or sharing at a conference, lecture or poster as this could result in a loss of some patent rights. 
  2. Reporting an invention
  3. Invention assessment
  4. IP protection 
  5. Creating a company
  6. Opening for business
  7. Financing
  8. Revenue