The company says its ISF Incubator will work with entrepreneurs to create and nurture companies based on its numerous patents.
Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures is becoming more aggressive about getting its inventions into the marketplace through new companies in which it has an equity stake.
Under co-founder and CEO Nathan Myhrvold, the privately held company for 17 years has pursued a business model that makes money from its own inventions and its large portfolio of patented ideas.
Now the company has launched ISF Incubator, a new initiative for recruiting entrepreneurs who can build companies around Intellectual Ventures’ inventions.
“Our goal is to get it out in the marketplace,” said Conrad Burke, the company’s vice president of new ventures.
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In recent years the company has incubated and spun out several companies based on its technology. The term “ISF” refers to Invention Science Fund, an existing Intellectual Ventures team that works on finding commercial uses for the company’s technologies.
By launching ISF Incubator, Intellectual Ventures is committing itself to a more formal, aggressive and visible program for creating and nurturing companies based on its own inventions.
“We’ve been doing it for quite some time, but below the radar,” Burke said. “We want to do more and faster, and at higher volume.”
Among the companies previously launched using Intellectual Ventures’ patents are flat-panel antenna developer Kymeta; Echodyne, which develops radar for drones and autonomous vehicles; and most recently Pivotal Commware, which delivers high-speed, highly efficient broadband connections to moving objects using radio waves.
Intellectual Ventures expects to profit from the ISF initiative both via royalty payments on the its patents and through ownership stakes in the startup companies that put the technology to commercial use.
Over time the initiative could significantly increase the portfolio of companies in which Intellectual Ventures has an ownership stake.
“We want to ratchet that up,” Burke said.
Intellectual Ventures plans to recruit entrepreneurs — including managers and engineers — who can take inventions from its intellectual-property portfolio and turn them into commercial ideas.
The company is also inviting entrepreneurs with their own inventions to look over Intellectual Ventures’ portfolio. Technological matches could lead to collaboration — and more companies.
Intellectual Ventures is casting a net for suitable entrepreneurs by going public with its plan and working its networks.
ISF Incubator will have offices in Bellevue as well as Cupertino, California, in Silicon Valley. The incubator employs 50, according to the company.
Initially the incubator will focus on recruiting entrepreneurs and seeding startups in Seattle, Silicon Valley, New York and Austin, Texas, Burke said. “We’re trying to focus on where we’re seeing the key trends and talent,” he said.
He expects the initiative to later spread overseas, into such nations as Germany, Israel, Ireland and Singapore.
Intellectual Ventures is especially interested in creating companies based on its automotive technology, particularly in the fields of electric vehicles and driverless cars. The company also has promising technology in such areas as medical devices and mapping, he said.