Swift Startup License Program

The goal of the SWIFT Startup License program is to stimulate the creation of new companies by University of Kansas (KU) researchers as founders, by licensing KU inventions. To promote innovation and entrepreneurship, KU Center for Technology Commercialization (KUCTC) is offering a simple, ready-to-use license agreement for start-up companies based on KU’s intellectual property.

Summary of the Program

The SWIFT Startup License agreement (pdf) has a back-end loaded deal structure with no upfront payments, no annual minimum fees, no minimum royalties, one low flat patent royalty rate and a success fee at the time of an exit/liquidation event. This would allow start-up companies to invest time and effort in developing the KU technology. The Swift Startup License will minimize contract negotiations enabling KU faculty and researchers to concentrate on the development of products. The Swift Startup License will be structured to make it more attractive to prospective investors. Following are the proposed general terms:

  • Exclusive license grant with rights to sublicense
  • Licensor will pay for up to $20,000 of past patent costs (those incurred by Licensor prior to the Effective Date of the License Agreement).  Licensee will pay for past patent costs incurred by Licensor in excess of $20,000, and all future patent costs (those incurred after the Effective Date)
  • No upfront fees and no annual fees
  • Financial and diligence milestones based on a detailed business plan
  • No equity for KU
  • A fixed 2% patent royalty rate on sales of any product(s)
  • No minimum annual royalty payments
  • A sliding sublicense revenue starting at 35% that steps down to 15% over five years
  • A 1% “success fee” when the company is acquired or goes public

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