Non-patentable IP: Portico Ventures
If you’ve got a great business idea that is based on non-patentable intellectual property (IP), the Portico Ventures model can help you create a spinout to take your idea to market. Typically, non-patentable research outputs might include:
- algorithmic methods.
Portico Ventures is designed to help UCL researchers set up technology-based businesses that can thrive in a fast-moving ecosystem.
What is the Portico Ventures model?
The Portico Ventures model offers UCL researchers two options for creating a spinout company based on IP developed at UCL. Both options provide spinout companies with an exclusive and royalty-free licence in return for a fixed percentage of equity (company ownership) in the spinout venture.
Whether you’re an experienced or first-time entrepreneur, the model gives you the freedom to develop your business ideas and reap the rewards, whilst providing the support and expertise you need to make your business a success.
Who is it for?
All UCL staff are eligible. Teams are also warmly welcomed – these can include students or people from outside UCL, as long as the key IP is owned by UCL.
What are the two options for spinouts?
If you’ve set up a business in the past or worked with corporate partners, and you have the skills, knowledge and contacts to develop your research into a profitable spinout company, you may opt for the founder-driven option.
In return for a 5% equity award to UCLB, you’ll receive an exclusive licence to commercialise the UCL IP, leaving 95% equity for you and the founding team to distribute among yourselves and any stakeholders and investors. (You should include a minimum 10% option pool to incentivise initial employees, advisors, non-executives etc.)
UCLB tailored support
If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, the UCLB tailored support option may be a better route, offering hands-on advice and guidance from the experienced UCLB team to turn your idea into a successful business.
We provide more significant support – whether that’s to help develop a business plan and pitch, identify investment opportunities or build your founding team.
In return for a 10% equity award to UCLB you’ll still receive an exclusive licence to commercialise the UCL IP, leaving 90% equity for you and the founding team to distribute among yourselves and any stakeholders and investors. (You should include a minimum 10% option pool to incentivise initial employees, advisors, non-executives etc.)
What support is available?
Whichever option you choose, you can access support, guidance and templates to help you get your spinout business up and running:
- Advice on funding sources for market studies and proof of concept.
- Templates for legal and financial documents.
- Networks of experts and service providers (e.g. tax, accounting and legal advice).
- Links into the wider London entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem.
How is the equity calculated?
The 5% or 10% award of equity to UCLB in your spinout is non-dilutable until the company reaches its first £1 million in equity funding.
UCLB will hold its equity in the company until an appropriate exit point – for example a sale or initial public offering (IPO). During that time, UCLB will be entitled to regular shareholder rights, including certain information rights to fulfil its reporting obligations to UCL.
UCLB’s initial shareholding will dilute over time as the company raises investment beyond £1 million.
At an exit, UCLB’s share of proceeds from its converted equity is split according to the UCL revenue share policy. That means that a significant portion is returned to UCL and your department, helping to fund further research projects.
How can I get started?
If you already have a business idea, contact your business manager.