1857 – Fostering Innovation Through Collaboration with Corey Park

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Founder & Chairman of Academic Technology Ventures, Inc., Corey Park.

Park Wide

Corey shared the pivotal moments that led to the creation of this groundbreaking company. ATV is a testament to Corey's unwavering commitment to bridging the gap between academic research and real-world applications. His insights into transforming theoretical knowledge into market-ready solutions were enlightening.

Corey emphasized how ATV nurtures partnerships between academia and industry, creating a symbiotic relationship that accelerates the development of new technologies. He provided examples of successful ventures that have emerged from these collaborations, showcasing the potential for significant societal impact.

As the chairman of ATV, Corey Park has a unique perspective on leadership. He shared his philosophy on guiding a company at the forefront of technological advancement. We discussed the challenges of staying ahead in a rapidly evolving landscape and how leaders can foster a culture of continuous innovation within their organization.

Corey was candid about the obstacles ATV has faced. From securing funding to navigating the complex patenting process, he thoroughly assessed the challenges tech entrepreneurs must overcome. His advice on tackling these issues was practical and motivational, offering a roadmap for aspiring innovators.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • The role of Corey Park as the founder and chairman of Academic Technology Ventures
  • The impact of technology on academic ventures
  • The potential benefits and challenges of academic technology ventures
  • The importance of innovation in academic technology
  • The role of entrepreneurship in academic technology ventures
  • The potential for collaboration between academia and technology ventures
  • The future of academic technology ventures
  • The perspectives of the unnamed guest on the topic

About Corey Park:

Corey Park is a visionary entrepreneur and business strategist with nearly 30 years of experience. As the Founder and Chairman of his ventures, Corey is known for transforming visions into tangible outcomes through strategic business planning and team development. He is uniquely able to identify opportunities and leverage points within organizations, fostering growth and driving significant business advantages. 

A Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business graduate focusing on Leadership & Management, Corey is also a certified hedge fund professional (CHP) specializing in portfolio analytics and risk management. 

Throughout his illustrious career, Corey has made substantial contributions as a serial entrepreneur, serving on several boards and being a coveted advisor and mentor in the tech startup and venture capital sectors. His expertise and guidance are highly valued across the business landscape, especially in innovative and technological domains.

About Academic Technology Ventures, Inc.:

Academic Technology Ventures (ATV) is a pioneering firm that bridges the gap between academic and government lab inventions and the marketplace. Their mission is centered on creating a better world by commercializing disruptive technologies. With a keen eye for potential, ATV sifts through thousands of innovations annually, identifying those with the most substantial intellectual property and market impact potential. 

The company prides itself on a highly scientific approach to technology selection, ensuring that only the most promising inventions are developed and brought to market. ATV's team consists of highly trained, focused, and experienced leaders in technology commercialization, offering a unique combination of capabilities and resources. 

This strategic approach propels inventions from concept to commercial success and contributes significantly to advancing global technological progress and societal benefits.

Tweetable Moments:

13:18 – “I was part of that 85%, stuck and hard to find an original idea. I didn't know how to get into the blue ocean; I was stuck in the red ocean with all the other small business guys.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Academic Technology Ventures, Inc. website at

Check out Academic Technology Ventures, Inc. on LinkedIn at

Check out Corey Park on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey, thoughtful listener, before we get going. Did you know that my company up my influence? Com has launched more than 200 business podcasts. The host of our shows are amazing leaders and collaborators. Folks I want to connect you with. Maybe you deserve your moment in the spotlight as a guest of one of these amazing shows. Just go to up my influence. Com where you can see more than 50 shows that are actively seeking business leader guests like you to celebrate right now in front of their high caliber audiences. Just click on the podcast tab and up my influence. Com where you'll see shows like Profit, Powerhouse with Glenn Close, sales negotiations and business insights. This isn't just another business podcast, it's a deep dive into the strategies that truly drive success. Hosted by Glenn Poulos, a seasoned sales strategist and business growth expert, each episode is packed with insights from top executives and business leaders. If you're a high level executive looking to share your expertise and story, we want you on profit powerhouse. Your experiences could be the exact insights Glenn's audience of ambitious business leaders are craving.

Josh (00:01:27) - And for our listeners, if you're ready to elevate your business acumen and learn from the best in the industry, Profit Powerhouse with Glenn Fuller's is your go to resource. Subscribe now and join a community of professionals who are transforming the business world, ready to be a part of something groundbreaking? Visit up my influence and click on the podcast tab to find profit powerhouse. Whether you're looking to be the next guest or just seeking invaluable business wisdom, this is where your journey begins. Again, just go to up my influence. Com and click on the podcast tab. With us right now. Corey. Corey, you are the founder and chairman of Academic Technology Ventures. You're found on the web at Academic Tech Ventures. Dot com. Corey, thank you so much for joining us.

Corey (00:02:22) - Hey, it's a pleasure to be here. I noticed you've done a thousand episodes. You're like the the Michael Jordan of podcasts. Your legend.

Josh (00:02:29) - Hardly. Hardly., maybe a Scottie Pippen. But even then, I think that's quite a stretch.

Josh (00:02:35) - Kind of you to say. So, Corey, tell me a bit about the work that you do., I've got, again, your website, Academic Tech Ventures. Com to a friend that's listening can kind of follow along. I'd love to kind of hear particularly in the world that you work in.

Corey (00:02:51) - Or so. 50% of people want to leave their career to start a new business., a lot of business owners want to start a new business, find something more profitable or more exciting. So what I do is I help entrepreneurs or people who want to be entrepreneurs, start new businesses by acquiring technologies from universities and government research labs. And it might sound expensive, but we actually,, have a deal structure we put together where we get these things with very little money down, and then we form companies around those technologies and then launch those companies to commercialize those technologies.

Josh (00:03:31) - I'm looking at this from the outside in, so I don't really even understand this world. So let's say to an audience of high schoolers who don't really understand this world either, could you kind of maybe just give us a one on one of the, you know, how the academic research world works and this interplay between private enterprise as well?

Corey (00:03:51) - Yeah.

Corey (00:03:51) - So universities and government labs invent about 250,000 new technologies every year, and they file patents on them. Right. And the thing is, these things go and die in what they call typically call the valley of death. So never to be seen again. Right? So they get the research money, they get over 200 billion a year in the form of grant money,, to create all these things. And then again, most of them go and die in the valley of death. So we've built out a database that encompasses millions of technologies where we can search these things up. And then we've kind of built out the capabilities and resources and Buster network to be able to take these things and,, well, find them, perform due diligence, close on them, and then take them to market. So it's a little known area, you know,, the gentleman that taught me how to do this,, his name's Mr. Grossman. When I met him, he had taken a NASA technology and sold it for 72 million.

Corey (00:04:52) - And when he showed me how to do this, it was like a business shortcut, right? Because if you think about it, if you want to be an entrepreneur or inventor, you have to come up with the idea. And, you know, a lot of times, well, the situation with these labs, they have to spend millions and years a lot of times to create these things. So if we can take a shortcut and go in and acquire these technologies after they've already filed the patents, invented the technology, well, now we're in the blue ocean where we're competition isn't and we're not in the red ocean where all the sharks are swimming, fighting over the same scraps. You know that most people are fighting over.

Josh (00:05:26) - Yeah., so the universities that are approaching you, or is it the private companies that want to work with more universities?

Corey (00:05:34) - Good question. Josh. So so it's actually us approaching the universities in government labs. So we seek out specific technologies. Again, we leverage the database to go in there, identify them.

Corey (00:05:45) - And that's my team helps with the reach out because they don't just, you know, answer calls very easily unless you're GE right. So and then we get in there and again perform due diligence. Make sure that it has what we're looking for. It needs to be disruptive you know applicable to a large marketplace,, low market adoption risks. We kind of have an 18 criteria of a risk profile that we basically, you know, look through to make sure it's a good fit. And then,, fortunately, you know, patents are kind of our superpower., investors like patents. And if you if you ever watch people pitching a the guys on Shark Tank, right, they'll they'll sit right up in their chair when they hear the word patents. So, you know, we've got a pretty loyal investor base. I'd say we're a lot less like Shark Tank and more like Finding Nemo. And we've got a large, loyal, you know, investor base that kind of swims after our deal flow, if you will.

Speaker 3 (00:06:42) - Wow, wow.

Josh (00:06:43) - And so what would be some examples of kind of matches that you've helped put together and what was the technology? What did they do of the ones that you could talk about., and like give us a story or two?

Corey (00:06:57) - Well, I'm thinking of one person that,, joined our program. Josh, he's had two exits now. One of them is a medical software that we took public., it actually saves hospitals over $1 million a month. We've proven that it was invented at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York., it saved them over 60 million made and saved them over 60 million in the last five years because it catches coating issues. So when they're coating things in the computer that they miss a code for a surgery, that the hospital doesn't collect that $10,000 from Medicaid insurance. We now have the largest,, healthcare technology company in the world fully engaging, bringing us hospitals. And so that one's kind of like a rocket ship right now. And then he had another company that was acquired by a prestigious public company.

Corey (00:07:42) - So, you know, they run the gamut. We have medical tech, we have agriculture, you know, you name it. I mean, that's kind of one of the things we do that works well for us because industry isn't digging around in there that much. You think the large companies would be? They're really not. And even if they are, they're looking for a specific thing. So they might be looking for something that improves their coffee maker and then completely ignore the green data center technology right next to it that we grabbed that, you know, the university had already put $34 million in development, three patents, and we just signed a large deal with the big infrastructure company on that one. So at the end of the day, being industry agnostic gives us a quite a strong advantage.

Speaker 3 (00:08:21) - Yeah, right.

Josh (00:08:23) - So I don't know if you've noticed any trends, you know, let's say over the past especially ten years. But you know, thinking about, you know, where innovation comes from. And you know, again, kind of this connection or this interplay between the collegiate world and private enterprise, of course, it's generally financially motivated.

Josh (00:08:41) - Well, the colleges are probably financially motivated to can you maybe just kind of, again, just kind of a little bit more bigger picture about the dynamic here and all. So what I'm curious about is, you know, if you looked into your crystal ball and you're like,, I think you need to know what's going on right now. Like, I'm really keen to hear your observations on that front.

Corey (00:09:04) - Well, a couple of things. You talk about trends. Look, I think AI is quickly coming for a lot of jobs. And, you know, over the next couple of years, you know, so to me, this is something I have a lot of people kind of getting involved with us because it can kind of I proof them, you know, engineers and doctors and others because,, you know, it might be a while before I can actually go and identify a technology, inform due diligence, negotiate it, bring in, get investors and launch the company. Right. It might be a little easier for them to, you know, do something else first.

Corey (00:09:35) - But the universities and labs do benefit when we, you know, have a success. But what's neat, Josh, is they get 200 billion a year, but they're prohibited by the government when they take that grant money from commercializing the technology. So you're not going to see the University of California putting out a new pair of tennis shoes, right? So and they're the ones that are doing most of the basic research. And science industry has kind of moved away from that over the last several decades. So when you talk, when you ask about trends, another trend is that,, you know, a lot of these companies have,, gotten out of R&D because they're favoring, you know, they're looking at the stock market. They want to please their shareholders. So the CEOs are really focused on stock price. And in keeping that up versus investing in R&D, they're more focused on,, you know, pumping up the stock or keeping it healthy there.

Josh (00:10:24) - Yeah. So when you are working with somebody, what does that journey typically look like? Like how does engagement begin? I'm sure there's like, you know, discovery process.

Josh (00:10:34) - But, you know, how do you begin that conversation then usually what's the activity that you launch into together?

Corey (00:10:41) - Sure. So of course I wanted to tell you so where I was trying to go with that last point is that universities and government labs are now doing about 95% of basic research in science. That's where the real breakthroughs are coming from. Industries kind of moved away from that. So at the end of the day, that's, you know, that's where the innovation is really happening. When you ask about innovation, that's where it's coming from. People that gave us, you know, it's, we kind of bring in small groups that it isn't my primary line of business. My primary line of business is, you know, I've acquired 74 technologies and I've got a lot going on there. But I do like to bring in the right people to help us identify more. If I feel like they're the right sort to do this with us. And so how do they engage? Well, there's a process where we get to know each other.

Corey (00:11:24) - I'm not going to partner with someone I don't know. Then we give them access to our database after training them on how to kind of vet things from a high level, then they're sending those sets of tech over to my team, my team and I that through those further. And then, you know, we find ones that we want to pursue. We'll reach out to the institutions to set up those initial phone calls. And,, wow, you know, I've had some people we pursued three from what they found in just the first month I've had, you know, I closed on four technologies my first year doing this part time. So it's, you know, it's I don't make it sound like it's easy. I had a little bit easier path because I had taken a e-comm company public with 10 million from a hedge fund. So I kind of had a bit more street cred for the, you know, I guess, so to speak, for the universities to take me seriously and, and,, and I'd raised a good bit for other companies ahead of that so that that helps, right? I mean, they, you know, they're not going to let their best technology go to someone who's not Coca-Cola unless they think they can really pull it off and get it off the ground.

Josh (00:12:25) - Yeah. So Corey, you know, of our friends that are listening to our conversation right now who should be reaching out to you,, in terms of like opportunity. And, you know, what are those initial conversations sound like?

Corey (00:12:39) - Well good question. So look, I one of the reasons why I really enjoy doing this and it puts me in flow is these are a lot of these technologies are very meaningful. We have several that save lives, make the world greener. So it's a way to make an impact. I had small businesses for many years that, you know, just didn't feel purposeful and meaningful. So really, I like to also help people that have well, at the end of the day, they're unhappy in their job. Right? So we have a work epidemic right now., 85% of people don't like their jobs. 75% of people really don't like their jobs, wouldn't even recommend their career to their children. And only 11% of people feel like what they're doing is they're calling.

Corey (00:13:18) - So I like to help people like that because I was trapped like that, you know, I was part of that 85%, you know, it was stuck. It was hard to find an original idea. And I didn't know how to get into the blue ocean. I was stuck in the red ocean with all the other small business guys, a thousand competitors. And when you're in the red ocean, you have to work harder and longer hours. It's the only way you win leads to burnout, can lead to divorce, can lead to all kinds of of things. So, you know, that's why I like to play in the blue ocean. These things have IP behind them. They're unique inventions. And,, it's just a lot more fun to play in the blue.

Josh (00:13:52) - Yeah I agree. Cary Park,, your website, Academic Tech When somebody goes to your website, what would you recommend in terms of next steps? What do they do? You know, I don't know if you have any resources or,, you know, maybe pillar content you'd recommend to take a look at or, you know, again, kind of next steps in their journey.

Corey (00:14:14) - Well, you and I both though that I should, but like I said, this isn't my primary. Bringing people in to partner with us isn't my primary line of business, but I enjoy doing it. And it does. It is fruitful. So, you know, they can go to the website,, again Academic Tech Ventures. Com and submit their information through our contact form. They can also, you know, I know you have a pretty sophisticated audience so they can reach out me to me directly through LinkedIn or a park SEO or PRK. And I'd be happy to, you know, engage them directly and and see if it might be a fit. You know, I mean, it's,, I'd like to save some people from work, prison, if I can, and,, show them a more fun way.

Josh (00:14:52) - That's brilliant. Brilliant, awesome. Cary Park again, thank you so much. Founder, chairman, academic Technology Ventures, a website. Academic tech Thank you Cory.

Speaker 3 (00:15:02) - Thanks, Jess.

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