Roma Tre University launches database for researchers looking to step into entrepreneurship

Roma Tre University (Rome, Italy) is excited to announce the launch of the ResearchInno database, powered by Crunchbase data. This project was developed in partnership with the National University of Ireland – Galway, IESE business school, Venture Hub, Translated, and the European Young Innovators Forum. ResearchInno is the first database specifically addressed to researchers who intend to evaluate the entrepreneurial potential of their invention, project, or idea.

A problem in the technology transfer

The transfer of an organization’s R&D innovations into startups that can commercialize those innovations (and thereby generate jobs) is a recurring issue for universities, research institutes, and businesses. 

Researchers and educators often lack the skills to bring startup ideas to market. They also have little understanding about how to generate revenue and how to create important new areas for sustainable employment. Furthermore, their career choices are often focused on career progression rather than entrepreneurship.

On the other hand, businesses can find it difficult to quickly spin up new units to commercialize R&D innovations that may distract from core operations. Moreover, many businesses generally do not have qualified staff to manage innovative projects or drive innovation transfer. 

The Started project

The “STARTED” project began when three universities, a nonprofit organization, and two private companies from four different countries in the EU, partnered together and received a grant from the European Commission.

The aim of the project is to reinforce and structure a European network for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the R&D area while improving the flow of knowledge and win-win cooperation between universities, research institutes, and businesses.

The main tools of the project are:

  1. ResearchInno: the first database specifically addressed to researchers who intend to evaluate the entrepreneurial potential of their project 
  2. Validate Your Idea: an interactive free e-learning course designed to introduce researchers to entrepreneurship

The ResearchInno database

Powered by Crunchbase data, the ResearchInno database aims to support researchers (and their institutes) in accessing basic information related to their startup ecosystem. In particular, this includes companies, investors, and institutions active in the innovation space in the European Union. Furthermore, ResearchInno helps researchers find potential partners and competitors in their specific industry. Once they find the right partners or competitors, they can utilize Crunchbase data to find more advanced details on the companies.

ResearchInno targets people who may have strong knowledge of a specific industry, but lack knowledge of the business, legal, and marketing aspects of starting a business. They may also face strong barriers in accessing the existing data on the relevant organizations in their industry. Data can be visualized both in tables and in maps, and are organized in four main industries:

  1.     Companies
  2.     Investors
  3.     Programs: entrepreneurial programs such as incubators and accelerators
  4.     Institutes: higher education institutions 

Additionally, STARTED offers a free interactive e-learning course designed to introduce researchers to entrepreneurship. The course guides new entrepreneurs through the main steps of how to validate the business potential of their project/invention, starting with market discovery. Here’s the link:

STARTED Project: STARTED is a project financed by the European Commission, whose aim is to teach more researchers to create companies, capitalizing on their research innovations by developing their entrepreneurial skills. STARTED is run by the National University of Ireland – Galway (Ireland), Roma Tre University and Translated (Italy), IESE business school and Venture Hub (Spain) and the European Young Innovators Forum (Belgium).

Andrea Dal Piaz is the COO of dock3, the entrepreneurship program of Roma Tre University (Italy). In the past 10 years he has worked as a trainer and manager in international startup accelerators, NGOs and networks for social impact.

  • Originally published December 12, 2019