The start-up creation data presented in the Q4 2013 and January 2014 issues of the Illinois Innovation Index are based on two independent surveys conducted by the ISTC in the course of November and December of 2013: the ISTC Technology Transfer Survey and the ISTC University Entrepreneurship Survey.
The ISTC Technology Transfer Survey covers all eight higher-education technology transfer offices (TTOs) in Illinois. A start-up is defined by the survey as any for-profit entity incorporated with assistance by a TTO for the purpose of further development and commercialization of the university’s licensed IP. The founders of the start-up must also have been researchers employed by or studying at the university at the time the company incorporated and the technology was licensed to the company. In 2013, the ISTC Technology Transfer Survey included only those TTOs that had created new start-ups or updated their internal data during FY2013. This included: University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC); University of Chicago; Northwestern University; and Southern Illinois University (SIU). The response rate was 100 percent. To verify survey responses and resolve ambiguities, the ISTC confirmed company names, contact details, and locations through publicly available sources.
For the ISTC University Entrepreneurship Survey, the ISTC surveyed higher-education institutions in Illinois with entrepreneurship centers or programs. For purposes of this survey, a start-up was counted if it had been founded by students or faculty while at the university from academic years d 2009–2010 to 2012–2013. Participants were asked to submit information only for those companies that had benefitted from services and resources administered through the entrepreneurship center or entrepreneurship program(s) at the founder’s university at the time of the company’s creation. Respondents to the University Entrepreneurship Centers/Programs Survey included: University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC Innovation Center); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Technology Entrepreneurship Center; Research Park, UIUC); University of Chicago (Polsky Center); Northwestern University (Farley Center for Entrepreneurship; Larry and Carol Levy Center for Entrepreneurship); Southern Illinois University (Southern Illinois Research Park; University Park, SIU-Edwardsville); Illinois Institute of Technology (Knapp Entrepreneurship Center); Northern Illinois University; and Bradley University (Turner Center for Entrepreneurship). Eight of ten eligible universities responded to the survey.
To calculate the aggregate number of companies created for the period 2010–2013, the ISTC counted only those technology transfer companies that were founded from FY2010 to 2013 (see the Q4 2013 Index for complete data on technology transfer start-ups for the period FY2006–2013). The ISTC counted only those companies for which the participating universities or the ISTC could independently verify both status (active/non-active) and location.
Where companies were listed by respondents in both surveys, start-ups based on university IP were only counted as part of the ISTC Technology Transfer Survey.