The Process

Below is a list of the typical steps to commercialize research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, including specific issues to consider. Some of these steps may not be relevant to your situation, or there may be additional steps or issues. WCEPS can assist you at every level of this process, and works closely with content creators to find the most efficient and effective way to disseminate your product or service.

  1. Determine the potential for commercialization for your product or service, including
    1. Identify the need for your product. In other words, define the problem you are solving for your customers and its magnitude.
    2. Research the market, including the potential market size and the current competitive landscape. Describe how your offering is better than what is currently available.
    3. Identify your ideal customers and the reasons they would be willing to pay for your product or service.
    4. Determine whether your product or service allows schools to satisfy a specific rule or compliance requirement.
  2.  Determine ownership of the intellectual property for your product or service
    1. Review the relevant agreements for any ownership stipulations. Common agreements to consider are funding (i.e. grants) or employment agreements.
    2. Identify all contributors to the intellectual property of the work, including verifying the role contributed, i.e. a student, a student hourly, academic staff, faculty, etc., and determining the extent of each contribution.
      1. While copyright law typically gives an employer copyright ownership, UW Copyright Policy sometimes grants that ownership back to the creators.
    3. Catalog which UW resources were used and the extent of that use.
  3. Go to market
    1. Refine your business model
    2. Determine your Minimum Viable Product
    3. Create a pilot program to determine market viability and the most effective way to grow your business.
    4. Create a marketing plan and scale your business
      1. Marketing plans include leveraging WCEPS’s current customer base, attending conferences or site visits, creating a social media presence, and promoting via digital or print.