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University of Florida Among Nation's Leaders in Startup Launches

September 18, 2013 - 6:00pm

The University of Florida helped create 15 startups last year, ranking fourth nationally just behind leading institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to a new report.

In fact, MIT, with 16 startups, and UF were bested only by the entire University of California and University of Texas systems, according to statistics from the Association of University Technology Managers, or AUTM.

This is a testament to the collaborative relationship between UFs world-renowned faculty generating discoveries and the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) working to bring together the elements necessary to create successful startups, said David L. Day, director of the OTL. Days team of intellectual property managers connects UF inventors and their technologies with the companies that turn them into products that improve peoples lives.

The AUTM report also shows that in 2012, OTL ranked 11th in the U.S. in the number of licenses and options granted (129). Licenses and options are valuable measures, Day said, because they demonstrate that investors believe an invention or technology is commercially viable.

University research has become an important driver of economic development, Day said.

UFs reputation as a business starter is growing and has been recognized recently in other venues.

In July, UFs Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator was ranked Worlds Best University Biotechnology Incubator, according to an international study conducted by the Sweden-based research group UBI.

In addition, the Florida Innovation Hub at UF reported in August that it has contributed to the creation of 250 jobs in just its first 20 months and the three-story incubator already has more than two dozen tenants.

Further, in the past 12 years, UF OTL has launched nearly 140 biomedical and technology startups. They include:

Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC)

AGTC uses gene therapy to develop long-lasting treatments for patients with genetic disorders.
Gene therapy replaces broken genes with normal functional genes, allowing a patients own body to produce proteins to treat his or her illness. A single treatment provides long-lasting benefit sometimes even for a lifetime leading to a better quality of life for patients worldwide.


AxoGen Inc. seeks to provide surgeons with solutions to repair and protect peripheral nerves. The company has created and licensed a unique combination of patented technologies and has a rich pipeline of new products to change the standard of care for patients with peripheral nerve injuries.


Prioria Robotics is an unmanned systems company dedicated to making unmanned aerial vehicles smarter. Prioria believes a smart UAV is more useful and more efficient in improving the lives of customers. The company delivers cost-effective and innovative solutions to civilian and commercial markets, as well as to the nations military.

Shadow Health

Shadow Health is a multidisciplinary educational software developer of rich learning environments and Digital Clinical Experiences (DCEs). Using the Shadow Health DCE, educators increase clinical efficiency, giving them more time to focus on student achievement. Shadow Health develops these educational environments to address critical issues facing the national and global health care systems maintaining quality of care in the face of deepening provider shortages.


Xhale creates novel patient-centric monitoring solutions, from patient monitoring to medication adherence to anesthesia monitoring. Led by a highly experienced management team with a proven track record of success, the company is driven by quality, innovation and excellence.

See more UF startups here.

OTL was established in 1985 to work with inventors to facilitate the transfer of UF inventors ideas to industry partners who turn the discoveries into products that are changing the world. UF faculty members disclose to the universitys intellectual property managers an average of 300 new discoveries generated from the more than $640 million in research annually.

Read more about OTL at

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