Domain Experts

In our mission to move UA innovations into applications that solve real social problems and create real commercial value, Tech Launch Arizona works with a vast community of Domain Experts — a diverse group with certain qualities in common:

  • Deep experience in some domain relevant to commercialization: from technology to marketing to startups and private equity
  • A deep commitment to the success of the University of Arizona, Tucson and our regional economy
  • The desire and ability to donate time and expertise to exploring promising discoveries and emergent inventions

Exploring & Advancing University IP

When inventors disclose new technologies, domain experts –  volunteers with experience in a specific technology area either as technical experts or entrepreneurs – help to assess the commercialization potential of UA technologies by participating in inventor discussions, feasibility studies, asset development planning and other activities that prepare inventions for the market.

Domain experts represent the vast majority of our Commercialization Network, currently made up of more than 1,300 people who play a vital role in assessing the potential for UA innovations.

Commercializing UA Technologies

Domain experts help TLA develop strong, sustainable new ventures to commercialize UA technologies, some of which may be licensed while others become the foundation for startups nurtured by TLA's Business Development team.

In some cases, domain experts also have the opportunity to continue working with a technology in a near-term startup or as part of a long-range commercialization team.

Becoming a TLA Domain Expert

TLA matches UA inventors and faculty with domain experts from the impressive UA alumni base and a network of seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals ready to help steer early-stage teams through the many challenges they will face. Through the network, UA-affiliated inventors and faculty can draw on the advice and guidance of a team of individuals with proven skills and relevant experiences.  

If this sounds interesting to you, you might be a great domain expert candidate. As a domain expert, you would contribute through:

  • Assessing new inventions generated by university faculty and researchers for potential IP and marketability
  • Recommending whether or not to commercialize inventions
  • Helping develop plans for effective transfer of technology to industry or a startup

Domain experts are there to guide – not to do. They listen, they coach, and they advise through candid feedback and recommendations. In the end, it’s up to the inventor and her/his team to execute; domain experts are not CEOs. The choices and the decisions lie in the hands of the inventors and the leadership team.

To avoid any conflicts of interest, domain experts are engaged to serve, NOT to scout for investment opportunities, clients or jobs. 

Apply to Join the Domain Expert Network

If you would like to offer your expertise to support commercializing UA Technologies, please contact Eric Smith, Commercialization Network Manager.

Candidates are generally invited to apply by someone affiliated with UA (faculty, staff, alumni) or are referred by a Tech Launch Arizona partner or volunteer. The Review Committee holds interviews with all applicants. The interview affords us an opportunity to become better acquainted with an applicant's unique skills and experience, to discuss the critical role and expectations of this position, and to answer questions.

Contact: