Licensing vs. start-ups

When looking to commercialise a technology, one of the main considerations is whether to license to an existing company, or to start up a new company. Starting up a business is risky, but could potentially lead to more job creation and impact.

Here are some general guidelines:

License to existing company when:

  • Individual applications are not large enough to justify a start-up
  • There is existing infrastructure to support commercial exploitation (e.g. distribution, marketing, market knowledge, facilities, brand name, etc.)
  •  There is a ‘champion’ at licensee company

License to start-up when:

  • It is a platform technology
  • No existing industry
  • Strong IP
  • Large enough market to justify risk
  • New technology is of a disrupting nature
For more information, tools and links, visit the Licensing Toolkit page.
For more information, tools and links, visit the Starting Up a Company Toolkit page.

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