The Tech Transfer Venture Center has developed tools to assess, calibrate and communicate the status and plan for a new startup project.

Comparative Strength Report (CSR)

A CSR is created to quickly assess and model the venture potential, the time-to-license and the venture (funding) readiness of a new startup project. It is created with a team of Venture Center staff, MiRs and partners to provide a professional assessment.

Venture Potential

The venture potential is a function of the:

  • size of market
  • potential market share within that market
  • duration that a market advantage can be sustained


The venture potential is represented by the size of the bubble representing the startup project.

Time to License

The time-to-license is the assessment of the approximate time that a startup project will require to have the qualities necessary to qualify for a university license (technology maturity, management team, business model and funding). This time-to-license is represented by the position of the bubble on the x-axis in the chart below.


Venture Readiness

The venture readiness is measured by the assessment of how close a new venture opportunity is to receiving seed, A round and follow-on venture funding. This is represented by the position of the bubble along the y-axis in the chart below.


A completed CSR for a new venture project in its earliest assessment stage might look like is represented in the chart below.


The CSR for this same venture project over time would reflect the change in venture potential (typically little change), the time-to-license and the venture readiness.


Venture Playbook

Complimenting the CSR is the Venture Playbook, a documented assessment and plan for a new startup project that includes:


The Playbook compiles information about the technology, the market and an approach to secure funding necessary to execute a business model, all tailored to the requirements of the technology and market sector. By identifying the gaps in the key market and technology areas, resources can be focused to accelerate the venture and maximize its value. The Playbook is constantly revised to reflect changing conditions and progress in building a successful venture.


A Hotlist is maintained by the Venture Center of all the startup projects under development. It includes new projects (Discovery), projects in mid-stages of development (Develop), and projects in the last stages before licensing and launch (Unleash). The Hotlist provides pertinent information to describe venture opportunities to potential angel and venture investors and other partners.

Sector Report

A Sector Report is a composite from the CSRs of a set of startups projects and startups in a particular technology/market sector. It provides summary of several investment opportunities in a sector, showing them relative to their venture potential, time-to-license and venture readiness. An example is shown in the chart below.


Venture Relationships

Our relationships with the angel and venture capital communities is an important resource for us and an important factor in our success. We communicate regularly to obtain feedback and assessments on our opportunities and enlist their help to address the work necessary to build successful ventures. Regular communication strengthens partnerships, enhances our resources and builds a pipeline of opportunities.

The Venture Center has strong connections to over 300 angel and venture firms who invest in university startups. Over 100 of those angel and venture partners have invested in U-M startups. Their success and our success have produced a stream of repeat investments, thanks to the quality of our research discoveries, the proven process of building value in our emerging ventures and the quality of our partnerships.

For More Information

Contact a Tech Transfer Venture Specialist for more details.