IPO sponsors and/or manages programs to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of the LLNL workforce to spur innovation and seed commercialization of LLNL intellectual assets.
Since 2015, LLNL’s IPO has partnered with the University of California at Davis Graduate School of Management to host six academies teaching LLNL and Sandia National Laboratory (Livermore) scientists and engineers (S&Es) the fundamentals of entrepreneurial business. Each three-day course teaches S&Es communication skills for working with funding sponsors. The program focuses on the value of a technology to solve a problem that people care about, rather than focusing on the technology alone.
National Lab Accelerator
The National Lab Accelerator is a 6-9 month program designed to train national laboratory researchers in optimizing the flow of laboratory-developed technologies into the private sector to create value for the US economy. The Accelerator program provides LLNL researchers the opportunity to work with an experienced external business mentor who will help them develop a value proposition and business concept around a market need and a technology and pitch it to the investment community to “sell” the concept. The program culminates in an exciting pitch event where researchers from national laboratories throughout the DOE complex compete and a winner is chosen by a panel of judges from the investment community. The knowledge gained increases the likelihood of moving technologies developed at the national laboratories into the hands of those who can create value.
Established in 2015, DOE’s Energy-I-Corps pairs teams of researchers with industry mentors to train researchers in moving technologies toward commercialization. LLNL was one of the initial national laboratories to pilot the Energy I-Corps program. Researcher participants go through an intensive two-month training in which the researchers define technology value propositions, conduct customer discovery interviews, and develop viable market pathways for their technologies. Researchers return to LLNL with a framework for industry engagement to guide future research and inform a culture of market awareness.
FedTech is a D.C.-based startup studio and accelerator that builds startups around deep technology from federal laboratories, universities, and corporations. IPO works with FedTech to match Laboratory technologies with FedTech-recruited entrepreneurs. LLNL researchers spend eight weeks sharing the benefits of their technology and the entrepreneurs develop business models and pitches.