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License To Profit

Not a creative genius? You don't have to be if you can find a product that's available to license.

Think you have to come up with some brilliant technology to profit from it? Not so. Licensing may be the answer for you, and it's just gotten easier. With, an online technology transfer marketplace started last year by Craig Zolan, 31, you can search through lists of the latest technologies from top-notch research and development universities all over the world (hence the "U" in UVentures)-including such big-name schools as Cornell and Dartmouth.

There are about 75 institutions listing more than 5,800 technologies on the site-ranging from video and image searching to biotech and information technologies-available for browsing at no charge. Says Zolan, "It's difficult to pigeonhole the site into one specific technology."

So whether you're looking to license a completely new product or you have invented a nifty gadget that just lacks one component, New York City-based UVentures probably has what you need. The site also has a newsletter and a bevy of information on licensing and intellectual property.

Only when a successful licensing agreement has been reached between the licensor and licensee does UVentures charge a fee. "I'm assisting others in building their companies-whether large or small," says Zolan. "[You can] browse the site and say 'Wouldn't that technology be a great product? I could start a company based on that technology.'"

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: License To Profit.

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