3 Takeaways - Denise Graves of MEDC

Courtney Overbey

Thursday, September 19, 2019

As university relations director of MEDC's Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative, Denise Graves is an expert at helping universities engage in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Denise also plays an integral role in supporting programs that connect researchers with programs that bring new high-tech ideas to market.

One such program is Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC), a statewide network of innovation hubs to accelerate the commercial development of Michigan technologies from universities, hospital systems and nonprofit research centers. Innovation Hubs include:  

Each hub is strategically located at a university with an oversight committee strong in the sector, further increasing the quality and quantity of resources available. To date, MTRAC has received 638 proposals, awarded 295 projects — with 47 startups creating 162 jobs, 34 licenses and 30 options — and raised $199M in follow-on funding.

In the following video, Denise shares three takeaways for researchers interested in submitting proposals to the MTRAC program. In addition to the three takeaways in the video, Denise provided a few additional tips for those hoping to take their idea from concept to commercialization:

  1. Researchers at all Michigan institutions of higher learning, hospital systems and nonprofits are welcome to participate in any of the five MTRAC programs.
  2. Unlike basic research, MTRAC is focused on translational research in which there are strategic milestones supporting the translation of research into the commercial market by way of a startup or license.
  3. MTRAC helps translate technologies that otherwise might not come out of an institution into the commercial market, while supporting the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem with startups, jobs and follow-on funding.
  4. MTRAC offers an early look at some of the great technologies coming out of institutions that are available to the commercial market.

If you have a high-tech startup idea you’d like to explore further and don’t know where to start, contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative at 888-522-0103 or visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/entrepreneurship.

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