Spinning out 101 – what the academic entrepreneur needs to know

The Entrepreneur’s Handbook

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Entrepreneur’s Handbook – our guide for academics on how to best navigate the spinout process, which is available to view online.

Thank you to everyone who kindly assisted in late 2021 by submitting your views on the university spinout process, we could not have created this resource with the inputs of you and your peers.

  • a guide to the spinout process

This handbook does two things. Firstly, it explains how spinouts get spun-out, who the players are, what is involved in the process, why intellectual property is important, what you need in a business plan and information about fundraising and team building.

It is a complex, time-consuming process, and the better the would-be entrepreneur understands the journey ahead of them, the more straightforward their journey will be.

  • a guide to the main players

The second thing the handbook does is provide insight into the motives and behaviours of everyone involved. This is much more complex than you might think, and perhaps the most valuable thing this handbook does it to encourage academic founders to think about what is driving the other players in this game.

You don’t need to agree with them, but if you can understand why they are saying what they say, then you have a much better chance of success. That is why we have paid so much attention to reporting how people think about the issues from their point of view.

Background Research & Expertise

Much of this guide draws on the Academy’s experience running our own spinout-focused grant programme since 2011, the Enterprise Fellowships, and the expertise of our Fellowship, alumni and network.

We’ve also reviewed existing materials, of which there are many. We’ve spoken to and surveyed academic entrepreneurs, Technology Transfer Officers, investors and more to bring all the important information and advice into one central resource. This handbook serves as companion piece to complement existing material, and we hope it helps prepare academics for the journey ahead.

Get Involved

Subject to interest, we are planning to convene all stakeholders for a series of roundtables on some of the wider aspects of the spinout journey. If you would like to get involved and have any specific topics you think would benefit from a group discussion between stakeholders, please get in touch with Angus at angus.baker@raeng.org.uk. Additionally if you think we have missed any worthy resources do let us know, and we’d welcome your feedback on the content for incorporation into future updates.

Share the News

Last but certainly not least, we would like to get this handbook into the hands of those who would find it most useful – academics curious about commercialisation. To that end we would appreciate your help in spreading the word.