Omaha foundation acquires Kauffman's iBridge Network

Omaha foundation acquires Kauffman's iBridge Network


The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation developed the iBridge Network in 2005.

The Innovation Accelerator, a four-year-old Omaha-based public-private entity that supports the commercialization efforts of Small Business Innovation Research grantees, announced today its acquisition of the iBridge Network, a university intellectual property marketplace.

Developed in 2005 by the Kansas City, Mo.-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, iBridge is an online platform that allows universities, companies and entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and license research, products and services. Boasting more than 10,000 members, the site hosts more than 22,000 innovations from more than 150 universities and research organizations.

"Increasing transparency into university-sourced intellectual property serves our mission of promoting our nation's economic competitiveness," Innovation Accelerator founder John Pyrovolakis (right) said Tuesday in a press release. "Collaboration with iBridge gives us an expanded infrastructure to serve government-backed startups that we hope to grow into the next generation of global corporate leaders."

Kauffman transferred its ownership of iBridge to the Innovation Accelerator last November. At that time, the network became part of the Innovation Accelerator Foundation, a not-for-profit that aims to provide tools to entrepreneurs and innovators who are seeking to promote their innovations.

The foundation is headquartered at the Scott Technology Center. It plans to host the iBridge network nearby at the Scott Data Center, according to the organization's website.

Today's news coincides with an event in Omaha featuring local business community leaders who have been a part of the project, including Mutual of Omaha CEO Dan Neary and former Kiewit CEO Walter Scott Jr.

"We played a leadership role in bringing the Innovation Accelerator to Omaha. The impact it has had on our innovation economy is encouraging and we're just getting started," Neary said in the release.

"iBridge, for me, is infrastructure for an age of innovation," Scott said.

Since the Innovation Accelerator's inception in 2008, according to the release, it has worked with hundreds of startups across the country, many of which have secured funding from top venture capital funds and have been acquired by Fortune 500 companies.

Startups the accelerator has worked with include Cambridge, Mass.-based BitSight, Berkeley, Calif.-based Ekso Bionics and Flagstaff, Ariz.-based MoneyClip Mobile, Scott Technology Center executive director Ken Moreano said in an email Tuesday.

 

Credits: Screenshot from ibridgenetwork.orgJohn Pyrovolakis photo from eastmanbusinesspark.com.

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