Michigan universities join forces to bring tech to market

 To help pull Michigan out of 42nd place among the 50 states in technology start-up activity, the University of Michigan will lead a new two-year, $2.4 million initiative funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Joining Michigan will be Wayne State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, and Oakland University reports www.itbusinessedge.com.

Ken Nisbet, director of the University of Michigan Tech Transfer office, calls a mentors-in-residence program a key part of the initiative to help coach new ventures along — and also to keep serial entrepreneurs in the state.

The University of Michigan completed 101 licensing agreements and spun out 11 startups in 2011, and its Tech Transfer office has helped launch 92 startups from research that originated in faculty labs. Three-quarters of those companies remain in the state.