Startups FAQ

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I’m not a MSU student or faculty. Can I still get help?

Our mission is to serve MSU students and faculty in their entrepreneurial endeavors. We’re part of a larger ecosystem of statewide support that helps startups and leaders of all ages and experience get help to launch. So while we may not be able to help, we likely know someone who can.

We recommend connecting with LEAP and the MEDC for more information on how to get rolling, from loans to prototyping to research. We’re also partners in a monthly crowd-sourced business pitch event called The Hatching. Held at a local bar in East Lansing, five new businesses with an idea compete via quick pitches to win $1,000 seed money and incorporation assistance. Sponsored by local supporters each month, we’re proud to help get a new business off to a strong start each month.

Does SI/MSU Innovation Center take equity in my startup company?

Equity and ownership is determined and negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Can I license MSU-developed technology to anchor my startup business? What if I am using my own intellectual property?

You can license a MSU technology to anchor your startup, or, if you are MSU faculty member or student, we can work with you to help you use your own innovations and ideas to create a company. The first step is in meeting with use to discuss the next steps for conducting research and determining how to proceed with licensing and creating the startup.

How can I financially support a student project or student startup?

We have many opportunities for giving support, from mentoring to major gifts—contact Lori Fischer or Paul Jaques to learn more.

For more information about the Entrepreneurship chapter of MSU’s Capital Campaign, vist Empower Extraordinary: The campaign for Michigan State University.

What’s the definition of a startup?

A MSU start up company can either be:

1) a new company that is dependent on licensing MSU’s technology for their formation, or

2) a company that is founded and based on the technology, ideas or services developed by MSU faculty, students or staff

Do you provide legal counsel for startups?

We advise that you contact the MSU College of Law Legal Clinic for general assistance.

In matters of IP and licensing, Spartan Innovations works with MSU Technologies and assigned MSU legal counsel.