Funding Available at Massey
At Massey Ventures we provide access to early stage investment through three fund types:
Massey Research Funding
Massey Ventures provides access to PreSeed Accelerator Funding to commercialise University research.
At Tier 1 you can access up to $80k for initial work. E.g., Proof of concept, Intellectual property protection, or market validation.
At Tier 2 you can access $250k or more for technical development, patents, market research, industry engagement, developing a business model, licencing, and forming a start-up.
Student Investment Fund
Students with their own business ideas that have not been funded by Massey University can access funding to get their ideas off the ground.
The Student Investment Fund offers up to $25k investment as well as access to Massey Ventures' expertise, coaching, and work-spaces.
We're currently finalising the details of the Student Investment Fund and anticipate launch in 2022.
Massey Ventures impact investment can be used for projects that benefit society and local communities.
Impact projects need a clear link to the University, such as building on Massey Research or involving strategically important communities
While the project does not need to be hugely profitable, it does need to be financially viable and self-sustaining.
Intellectual Property at Massey
Intellectual property (IP) management helps to protect creations of the mind. Below are some common types of intellectual property that you may encounter on your commercialisation journey:
A patent provides legal protection to stop others from using your invention. Patent applications are limited to the country where they are filed. They require you to describe your invention which must be novel, involve an inventive step, and not be published before filing your patent application.
Registering a design protects the visual appearance of an object to help stop others within a particular country from copying your design. To register a design, it must have new or original features and must not be published before filing your registration.
Plant Variety Rights
Plant variety rights gives the owner of a particular plant variety the exclusive right to produce and sell it.
Trademarks are used to identify you or your organisations' products and/or services in the market place. This can include logos, words, shapes, sounds, colours, and more. Registering a trademark provides protection within that country to stop others using them to promote their goods and/or services, and to prevent misrepresentation of your product and/or service in the marketplace.
A trade secret - or 'know how' - refers to confidential information such as the methods and processes that you or your organisation uses. Trade secrets protect you as long as you can keep the information a secret. At minimum this can involve requiring confidentiality agreements with individuals who have access to your secret information.
Copyright is applied automatically to an original work that is expressed in a material form. This could include a website, software, publication, performance, or artistic creation.
For useful resources about intellectual property, visit the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office Website.
Intellectual Property Ownership
University Funded Intellectual Property
In general, Massey University claims legal and beneficial ownership of all Intellectual Property Rights generated under the auspices of the University (see the University's Intellectual Property Policy). This might include research they have funded, or work that was conducted by University employees.
If the intellectual property shows commercial potential, the Massey Ventures team will work with the creators to protect and commercialise the intellectual property. The University offer several benefits for staff that choose to work with us and commercialise their ideas.
If the University decides they no longer wish to commercialise the intellectual property then individuals can request that the intellectual property rights be transferred to the inventors.
Student Intellectual Property
It is Massey Ventures' position that any intellectual property that is solely generated by students remains the property of that student. However, if the student wishes, they can still access funding and support from Massey Ventures.
Benefit Sharing at Massey
Massey Ventures’ commercialisation deals are structured to ensure inventors receive a fair share of the benefits, such as percentage of net revenue or equity shares in a spinout company. The inventors’ collective benefit share is typically between 30-70%, depending on their contributions as an Inventor and whether they continue their involvement as a Founder.
Every project is different. That’s why Massey Ventures are flexible when negotiating a deal that ensures each party’s contributions are fairly reflected. The graphic below gives some examples of how Massey Ventures has negotiated deals in the past. Keep in mind that deals are subject to the terms of the agreement and that benefit shares may change over time; for example, to reflect additional investment from Massey Ventures or a third party.
The Inventor Model is suited to people who have developed a great idea but want to focus primarily on their research career.
Typically, inventors collectively receive around a third of the benefits over the life of the commercialisation. For example:
a third of the net revenue if the invention is licenced or sold; or
a third of equity shares if a spinout is formed.
This reflects the value of the inventors’ work to date on their idea, as well the resources and investment from the University.
The Inventor+ Model is suited to people that have developed a great idea and want to balance their research career and involvement in the new spinout company.
The Inventor+ model is flexible, depending on the amount of time you want to commit. Inventors might want to retain 50% of their university workload and salary and commit 50% to the new company. Others might negotiate some other allocation of their workloads. In these circumstances, the inventors’ share of the benefits may increase to reflect the value of the inventors’ work to date, plus their ongoing work in the spinout company.
These additional shares are often “vested” meaning that the inventor earns the additional shares over the time they work for the spinout company.
The Founder Model is suited to people that have developed a great idea and want to focus primarily on building a successful company.
A Founder plays a core role in developing a new spinout company. Typically, founders devote most (or all) of their workload to the new spinout. Some founders substantially reduce their university workload and salary, take a leave of absence, or end their university employment entirely. In these circumstances, the founders’ share of the benefits may increase up to 70% to reflect to reflect the value of the inventors’ work to date, plus their ongoing key role in the spinout company.
These additional shares are often “vested” meaning that the founder earns the additional shares over the time they work for the spinout company.
In situations where other individuals or organisations provide support or funding, alternative arrangements may be negotiated to reflect the contributions of each party.
Benefit sharing for Student Projects
Benefit sharing for student projects varies based on the amount and type of funding they receive. This is designed to fairly reflect the contributions of both the Student and the investors.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I contact Massey Ventures?
Get in touch as early as possible! Whether your idea is based on years of research or just a shower-thought, we can give you advice on how to protect your idea and turn it into a commercial opportunity.
Who covers the cost of protecting intellectual property?
The cost of protecting intellectual property can be significant. Massey Ventures and the university's commercialisation office have funding available to cover these costs.
Can I still publish my research?
Publishing your research can affect your ability to protect your idea. However, with some careful planning you may still be able to publish your research without affecting your intellectual property. If you are unsure, you should get in touch with the Massey Ventures team BEFORE you publish.