In order to provide a more comprehensive approach to commercializing research from the university, the UCF Venture Lab and the Office of Technology Transfer were merged under a single director, Dr. Svetlana Shtrom. The combined team is now better able to leverage complementary expertise and shared resources to facilitate commercial development of UCF technologies.

Prior to the merger of the two groups, Svetlana Shtrom had been directing the commercial development of life sciences technologies at UCF’s Office of Technology Transfer. Svetlana brings over 10 years of experience in life sciences and broad expertise in business development and technology management. She holds an MBA from UCF and a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of California at San Francisco.

The Venture Lab’s former director, Kirstie Chadwick, will continue to work with the Venture Lab, focusing her efforts on enhancing the venture coaching network.

The UCF Office of Technology Transfer has been guiding scientists and inventors through the complex patenting and commercialization process for over a decade, overseeing issuance of over 340 patents and formation of more than 20 start-up companies. In 2009, UCF ranked third in the nation for the strength and impact of its patents and had moved up from seventh place the previous year in the rankings by IEEE, the world’s leading association for the advancement of technology.

Since its inception in 2004, the UCF Venture Lab has mentored over 150 technology entrepreneurs in business plan development, investor pitch creation, market research, and product/intellectual property validation. Fifty of the entrepreneurs working with the Venture Lab ultimately started a company in Central Florida. The Venture Lab has worked directly with more than 20 UCF faculty researchers and assisted them in commercial evaluation and fundraising.Together, the Office of Technology Transfer and the Venture Lab will combine their strengths to offer to the UCF faculty, staff and students a broad range of research commercialization services including intellectual property management, technology evaluation, market assessment, industry analysis, business plan preparation, fundraising assistance, and management team development.

Dr. Svetlana Shtrom, the newly named director of the merged group is “thrilled to lead such a talented and broadly experienced team of specialists.” “I am excited to have the opportunity to build on our strengths and to enhance the breadths of the commercialization services we can offer to our faculty, staff, students and local entrepreneurs. Our combined team is energized and looking forward to assisting inventors and entrepreneurs in developing their ideas and guiding them through the business steps that are critical for successful launch and growth of technology companies.”