What’s the typical BICI models of commercializing a completed project?


The startup company of a completed project can be formed in at least one of the following three ways after mutual agreement between PI(s) and BICI:      


i.  BICI + PI(s) form a start-up together, which licenses the technology from University;

ii. BICI licenses the technology from University and forms a startup on its own, if PI(s) are not interested (ideally, related researchers such as PhDs or post-docs from research group join as co-founder and consultant of the company);

iii. PI(s) forms a startup outside China, and BICI forms a startup in China, by licensing from University respectively.


What’s the typical project size and duration?


The typical funding for each project ranges from 100k to 2M USD. The duration of the project usually ranges between 1-2 year, depending on the maturity of the technology. 


Does the proposed project require a specific market application?


We require a clear and targeted market application for the proposed technology. If the specific application is not readily known, BICI will conduct market due diligence to identify the market need. 


How long does the application process take?


The application process usually takes about 3-6 months. The aim of BICI projects is to commercialize your technology. Therefore, besides evaluating technical strengths and feasibility of proposed work, BICI conducts extensive market research to identify user cases, key product features, challenges towards scaling as well as possible solutions, and connects with industrial leaders for potential partnership. During the review process, BICI team will communicate with you to refine the project proposal. The goal of the review process is to ensure optimal valuation of the technology/invention by strategic market positioning once the project has come to completion.


 Where can pilot testing and scaling-up take place over the course of the project?


The pilot test and scaling-up can be carried out anywhere, whichever represents the most efficient route that benefits the technology transfer process. The BICI headquarters located in Beijing, China, has a site currently under construction for product prototyping and scaling-up, which can facilitate the final stage development and deployment of technologies funded by BICI.


Is collaboration encouraged?


Collaboration is highly encouraged, but not mandatory. Single PI proposals are welcomed. BICI may discuss with PI about collaboration with other institutes or industry partners. In collaborative projects, BICI will connect expertise from various fields, from suppliers, manufacturers, to customers and end users, and can coordinate tasks among partners. 


Will BICI have continuous investments on spin-off companies formed out of the funded projects?


For continuous growth of the spin-offs, BICI will support the next round of funding. BICI have subsidiary funds and connected resources (such as VC networks) which can potentially invest in the spin-offs from the funded projects.


What is BICI's risk preference?


Compared to conventional VCs, BICI invests technology at an earlier stage, and is willing to take more risk and allow longer time-to-market.