Yesterday I tweeted this:
The productization of university research is fascinating. Would be cool to see a list of all of them that raise VC: http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/08/machine-learning-startup-graphlab-gets-a-new-name-and-an-18-5m-check/ …
I googled around yesterday and couldn't find anything. If anyone can point me to one, that would be great. Or maybe we need to put it together.
The best example I can think of is Google. Larry and Sergey began developing a search engine called BackRub in 1996 that ran on Stanford servers. They would later rename it to Google. They were both doing research in Computer Science.
If you can think of others, feel free to leave them in the comments.
As a VC, I think there is opportunity here. I used to hear that VCs in the early days (70-90s) used to crawl universities searching for new technologies. I don't know if this is true, but I think there was a greater % of new tech coming from universities at that time than there is now. Because computer science was new back then, universities, such as Michigan were some of the first to really make progress in this new world. Fast forward to today, and building SW is cheap and easy. Everyone can do it.
I for one have spent little time mining university research for potential spinouts. Perhaps I should spent a little time thinking about what that would look like. Everyone complains the Valley is no longer creating 'real' tech, maybe they are just looking in the wrong places.