Editor’s note: Charlotte Beat is a regular feature on Wednesdays.“This was a year of opportunity and we expect 2004 to be one also,” says Mark Wdowik, executive director of the office of technology transfer at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Figures released by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) in July showed that in 2001, with results normalized by how much universities spend on research, UNC-Charlotte was:

  • Number one in the number of start-ups formed.
  • Number two in inventions disclosed.
  • Number two in patent applications.
  • Number three in patents issued.
  • Number five in licenses issued.

AUTM also said North Carolina led all states in 2001 in the number of start-ups created and duplicated UNC-Charlotte’s figures in the next two categories above.

Wdowik tells Local Tech Wire, “The change in the economy can only help and improve what we’re doing.” But he says that companies formed in a tough economy in which the venture capital dance left many wallflowers on the sidelines was actually good for the spin-outs.

“It made these companies focus on customers and selling and not so much on chasing VCs and their dollars,” he insists. “They had to focus on how to get folks to buy their product. That’s a good thing that will help them immensely in the long run.”

The AUTM figures are something of an efficiency rating. They normalize figures for each $10 million of research money spent at a given university. UNC-Charlotte has a research base of about $30 million, compared to the $400 million at UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University. UNC-Charlotte employs two people in tech transfer, while UNC-CH and NCSU have about 25 each.

Wdowik says the AUTM results helped UNC-Charlotte obtain a good bit of positive publicity. “We’re still trying to get mileage out of it,” he says.

UNC-Charlotte saw 15 start-ups emerge from its research in the last three years. The university had only one spin-out in 2000, then six in 2001 and four each in 2002 and 2003. This year the spin-outs included: Calyptix Securities, Biotrackers, MixSig Labs, and Horizon Technologies, most of which we wrote about at length here during the year.

Copley Internet relocates offices

Copley Internet Systems, a website design firm that specializes in business-to-business commerce, has moved from Monroe to 400 Clement Ave. in Charlotte.

Founded in 1997, Copley has designed websites for companies including Carolina Made, Imo Pump, Staton Wholesale, The Americana Company, Jonathan Corey, and Total Nutrition Technology.

Copley recently added Demoiselle, a newly launched retail store in Charlotte for bridesmaids, to its client list.

UNC-Charlotte: www.uncc.edu

AUTM: www.autm.net

Copley Internet www.copleyinternet.com