The Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) is Cornell University's technology transfer office. We manage technology for Cornell's Ithaca campus, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech, and Cornell AgriTech in Geneva.

FastTrack Startup License

The FastTrack Startup License program was introduced in July 2018 for new ventures based on Cornell technologies in the fields of engineering and physical sciences. It’s an experimental approach to licensing startups, designed to enhance our pro-startup ecosystem at Cornell, and increase the transparency and speed of the licensing process. We are committed to continually evaluating and improving the program, with the goals to help increase the quality and quantity of technology startups and catalyze technology commercialization.



Main Features

  • The FastTrack Startup license is a ‘ready to be executed’ agreement with favorable, balanced, and fixed terms. Minimal negotiation focuses on the field-of-use and due diligence from the Licensee in its commitment/milestones to commercialize the innovation.
  • There are menu options to choose from, designed to accommodate different types of businesses, from those geared towards VC funding, to those focused on strategic partnerships, to bootstrapped efforts.



Current Technology Fields

INCLUDED: semiconductor, electronics, non-biological chemistry and materials, energy, optics, photonics, MEMS/NEMS


NOT INCLUDED: therapeutics, diagnostics, agriculture, food, veterinary, software, medical devices



Any new startups based on Cornell technologies in the applicable fields, provided that the inventors agree with the path of new venture and the team selection.




To make sure that Cornell’s technologies are licensed to parties who have the capability and reasonable plans to develop the inventions to commercial products and services, CTL requires the startups to provide their business plans or similar materials to describe the following:


  • A viable team of founders/committed advisors for the startup
  • Value proposition for the market
  • Commercialization plan
  • Development milestones


We understand that business plans may evolve as companies grow and adapt to the market place, especially at the early stage development. When the startup is not ready to license the Cornell technology but has the promise to be a viable opportunity:


  • A simple 6-month option can be offered to the company with a low fee of $1000 (waived if the inventors are part of the founding team).
  • The option period can be extended for another 6-months for a low fee of $2500 at CTL’s discretion.
  • During the option period, the team is expected to work with regional incubators, accelerators, and/or other training programs to sharpen the business idea and connect to suitable resources.


Key financial terms for the Exclusive License


Equity 4% non-dilutable through subsequent equity financing aggregating $2 million OR 1% non-dilutable until Change of Control
Upfront Payment $0
Royalty 2% of Net Sales* without Anti-Stacking term OR 3% of Net Sales* with Anti-Stacking term (potentially down to 1.5%)
Sublicensing Pass through royalty**, then 15% of other sublicense income OR No pass through royalty**, then 25% of all sublicense income
Milestone Payment $0
Annual Fee

(Creditable against royalties)

1-4 years: $0

5-6 years: $15K/year

Annual after: $40K/year

Patent Expenses Reimbursement of all past Patent Expenses, plus the first $5,000 in future patent expenses, will be deferred up to 2 years.

(For any startup companies that elect to locate their principal operations in Tompkins County, NY, Cornell will increase the $5,000 to $20,000 and extend the 2 years to 3 years.)

* For products based on licensed Cornell technologies
** Pass Through Royalty means the sublicensee applies the same royalty rate to its Net Sales as the licensee









Benefits from the FastTrack Startup License program include:

  • Quicker turnaround time to obtain the license to move forward with the business opportunity
  • Lower upfront and early stage expenses
  • Clearer expectations at the idea incubation stage before launching the company


For more information about the FastTrack Startup License and our general startup licenses, please contact Martin Teschl ( or your licensing officer.