PIVOT Center created its multi-faceted in-Residence program to leverage the knowledge, experience, and networks of successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. The program, one of the most successful of its kind in the country, includes Executive (XIR), Entrepreneur (EIR), and Mentor-in-Residence (MIR) tracks, each with a different goal. Consistent among them, however, is PIVOT’s emphasis on building deep relationships and strong partnerships. Annually, PIVOT’s XIRs, EIRs and MIRs have contributed thousands of hours to support U inventors and companies.
One of the reasons the program is so successful is because of PIVOT’s work to understand the goals of both the iRs’ and inventors’ – what would benefit them – and then making ideal matches.
Executives-in-Residence provide an independent voice to PIVOT and its many stakeholders for the evaluation and commercialization of University of Utah inventions. XIRs work alongside PIVOT team members to identify technologies with high market potential. When those technologies are well suited to a direct license to industry, XIRs provide connections to companies that serve as warm leads for licensing. When those technologies are more suited to create a startup company, XIRs help identify, recruit, mentor, and coach founding teams. XIRs receive a small stipend from PIVOT, which subjects them to PIVOT’s COI policy and requires them to abstain from any remunerative relations with PIVOT startup licensees.
Entrepreneurs-in-Residence differ from XIRs in that EIRs are actively looking to launch or assume leadership in a startup. Roles span from founding and C-suite to board and consultative engagements. As such, EIRs cannot be compensated, otherwise they would be subject to PIVOT’s COI policy. PIVOT’s new business teams create a customized engagement plan for each EIR based on time, sector, stage, compensatory, and other individualized preferences. Throughout the process, EIRs develop a deep understanding of the U’s research strengths and portfolio companies. PIVOT has successfully matched more than a dozen EIRs with high-potential technologies and startup opportunities.
The benefits for a startup to partner with an EIR are numerous, mainly allowing an inventor to focus on science of their innovation by working with those who can guide business decisions and lead the company towards success. EIRs can bring together management teams, raise money, condense the commercialization timeframe, and help an invention become a reality and make an impact. Even if you are just thinking about an idea for a company, it’s never too early to engage with one of our EIR’s.
PIVOT created the Mentor-in-Residence program as a hybrid offering for those who are not actively looking for their next gig, but want the flexibility to craft or pursue opportunities as they arise. MIRs, therefore, do not receive any compensation from PIVOT. As with EIRs, PIVOT’s business development teams create a customized engagement plan for each MIR, but the work often approximates that of XIRs. MIRs form broad relationships with inventors and portfolio companies, while engaging their distributed networks to support PIVOT’s tech development, commercialization, and economic development goals. With their hybrid approach and flexible objectives, MIRs’ engagement to date has led to consulting contracts, board positions, and, in partnership with PIVOT, the launch of the software accelerator, Summit Venture Studio.