Phase 1 – Gap Analysis & Express Option


Cory G. Acuff, Ph.D.
Associate Director,
Innovation Gateway

146 Terrell Hall
210 S. Jackson Street
Athens, GA 30602


Kevin Wu
Engineering Catalyst,
Innovation Gateway
126 Innovation Hub
210 S Jackson St
Athens, GA 30602

Phase 1 Requirements

Eligible UGA startup companies that desire to participate should complete the Phase 1 Application.

Innovation Gateway will schedule one or more meetings with the startup to discuss its responses and ask additional questions. Once all information is gathered, Innovation Gateway will provide a Gap Analysis to the startup that identifies any of the essential criteria (below) that the startup has not yet met. Once the Gap Analysis is delivered, the startup must prepare an Action Plan to address all identified deficiencies, such that the startup meets all Phase 1 Requirements within the next year. Innovation Gateway will provide a template Action Plan and is available to collaborate with the startup team to develop their plan. The startup must submit its Action Plan to Innovation Gateway for review in an iterative process to arrive at a final, mutually-approved action plan.

Process flowchart for Georgia Startup License: Phase 1

Essential Criteria

  • Product Pipeline Identification – Identify the initial products and services the startup intends to develop and offer. This is extremely important so that intellectual property strategy can be focused to protect the specific rights the startup intends to use to generate income.
  • Website and Logo – Create a simple website landing page and logo/branding for the startup’s online content, documents, and other materials. The first thing a potential business partner, investor, or SBIR reviewer will do is research the startup’s online presence.
  • Pitch Deck and Reading Deck – Develop a pitch deck, which should include at a minimum the following slides: Problem, Solution, Value Proposition, Market Size, Business Model, Competition, Regulatory, Intellectual Property, Team, Milestones and Plan, and Ask. Develop a reading deck, which should include all pitch deck slides adjusted to a style that is meant to be read. Both decks should be non-confidential.
  • Executive Summary – Create a simple, one-page description of the startup and business opportunity including relevant logos, current plans, and contact information. This is essential to send prior to meetings with partners or potential investors early in relationship development.
  • Business Management Plan – Write a detailed description of the startup’s corporate structure and the associated management and R&D personnel. It is especially important to give a clear description of how faculty members will engage once full-time employees are hired.
  • List of Business Advisors/Board of Directors – List at least 3 people external to the founding team who serve as advisors or directors. Ideally, the advisors/directors are key opinion leaders or individuals with domain experience for the startup’s proposed products and services.
  • Individualized Requirements – Complete any additional Phase 1 requirements targeted to the specific company, sector, or technology that Innovation Gateway includes in the gap analysis.

Phase 1 Benefits

When the action plan is approved and finalized, then the startup gains access to the express patent option. The company may execute the option at any time on the following non-negotiable terms.

  •  Express Patent Option – Grants the startup up the exclusive right to negotiate an exclusive license to the identified patent rights (e.g. provisional or non-provisional applications, issued patents) in the agreed upon field and territory with a 12-month option period at no fee and without patent expense reimbursement requirements.