“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk”

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” – Thomas A. Edison

The Boulder County Business Report has issued some very nice statistics on inventions created at the University of Colorado, which in turn have inspired the business formation and growth of many Colorado small companies.

Researchers at the University of Colorado developed over 250 inventions in 2011 alone. This high level of ingenuity over the past two decades has led to:

·       The business formation of 114 new companies, 85 of which operate in Colorado

·       Of these new companies, seven have gone public through an IPO or reverse merger, and 17

have been acquired by a public company

·       Companies created based on technologies developed at CU have earned $5.6 billion in financing over the past 20 years

The biotech and health care fields dominate the University of Colorado invention landscape, followed by engineering and physical sciences.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

This high degree of invention has some long-reaching implications, not just for the inventor and CU, but the Colorado business environment and our economy at large. It’s estimated that 5-10 of the inventions meet the criteria annually to become start-up companies.

Some of the standout Colorado companies that have formed based on CU inventions include:

·       Myogen, a Colorado-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing drugs for the treatment of heart failure and related cardiovascular complications. Gilead Sciences spent $2.5 billion to acquire Myogen in 2006.

·       SomaLogic, a Boulder-based company developing a highly specific and sensitive tool for measuring and identifying proteins as keys to early diagnosis of human disease.

·       OPX Biotechnologies, a Boulder-based company making renewable, bio-based chemicals and fuels that are lower cost, higher return and more sustaining than petroleum-based products. OPX has raised over $60 million in private financing.

“Thomas Edison” under CC license by Cea