New professor helping students start own business
As of this semester, there is a new face in the Woodbury Business Building: Kent Millington, business professor and director of the Technology Commercialization department.
Millington was mentioned personally at President Holland’s State of the University address and has been hired to be a resource to any student or faculty member with a technology or business idea.
Millington works with students and faculty to protect their idea, or intellectual property with patents, giving ownership and selling rights to the individual who came up with it.
Millington then helps students and faculty acquire seed funds, which allow small amounts of money to be used to develop an idea into a marketable product.
Products are then reviewed and tested by other students and faculty members on campus, allowing for the development of the idea through critiques and improvements.
The Technology Commercialization department’s function is to transfer technology from UVU to the marketing field. Millington explained two methods of transfer: a student or faculty member can start a company themselves to market the product, or they can license the product to an existing company.
Millington has already seen students and faculty members come up with great business ideas, most notably Ryan Porter, a student here at UVU. Porter’s business is called Live View. It is an array of cameras set up on roads across Utah for maintenance, surveillance and travel. Millington expressed his delight in the technology.
“Ryan has licensed the product to the Utah Department of Transportation, and they say it has saved the millions of dollars in snow removal and maintenance alone,” Millington said. “Ryan is now receiving calls from across the country from many companies interested in his product.”
Not everyone’s ideas can be as beneficial or as successful as Porter’s. Some ideas just aren’t applicable in the market, but many students and faculty members have already outsourced their products to companies or started their own companies to market their product, which in turn has brought them moderate success and revenue.
“An idea can come from anyone,” Millington said. “If you have an idea, [the department] wants to help students and faculty members move their product out into the marketing community.”