We’re almost halfway through 2018, which means it is once again time for OUP’s annual financing trends webinar. Which sectors have had the greatest investment and which are facing funding challenges? How do these trends apply to advancing academic technologies? What does the beginning of 2018 imply for the rest of the year and what lies over the horizon?
Hardware is hard. Large capital requirements, long development timelines, and fickle customers are classic critiques that VCs focus on when evaluating a hardware startup. Yet substantial investments in quantum computing, semiconductors, and additive manufacturing prove that an industry-changing vision with cutting edge technology can overcome investor hesitations about the sector. And while the numbers show that investment dollars into software outpace hardware, the reality is the two keywords no longer separate the industry as many hardware entrepreneurs and investors have learned the benefits of software-enabled “things.” Is the market returning to hardware bets? What do investors want to see in 2018? What are avoidable pitfalls of pitching a hardware story?
Recently, several universities and research institutions have set up internally driven and funded therapeutics development programs providing faculty the opportunity to push high impact translational research projects further than has been typically seen within an academic setting. These programs can oversee all stages of therapeutic discovery and development, from lab-based discovery to clinical trials. Why did these institutions decide to start these programs? How are these programs administered? What multi-disciplinary talent is needed and where did each institution find it? And perhaps most importantly, how much do these programs cost and who pays the bill?