Great holiday gift idea from Florida Trend!
Florida Trend
Get FREE Business News Updates


November 30, 2015

Technology Transfer

University Spin Game

Success is rare and slow for spinoff companies, but the potential rewards -- visibility and income - keep schools playing.

Barbara Miracle | 3/1/2008
Tallahassee (FSU)

Joseph Schlenoff
Technology: Robot that makes multilayered laboratory samples by dipping slides into polymer solutions. Shown in photo: Joseph Schlenoff [Photo: Steve Leukanech]
Joseph B. Schlenoff, chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida State University; president of nanoStrata

Spun off: 2000

Sales: $120,000 to $150,000 by selling eight to 10 robots at $15,000 each

Market: University research labs

“We invented a widget. It was a useful widget. People asked us if they could buy them,” says Schlenoff. The robot, which uses technology licensed from Schlenoff’s research at Florida State University, speeds up the process of coating slides used in biotech applications and also makes the process more precise.

Working out of a small shop at Innovation Park, a research and development park affiliated with Florida State University and Florida A&M University, Schlenoff, his wife and their one employee work with local suppliers to produce the robots and sell them to institutions in the U.S., Hong Kong, Australia, the Middle East and Sweden. The firm markets only by word of mouth, trying to limit growth to a level that Schlenoff can handle. “I’m very concerned about keeping quality control.”

Schlenoff says he’s interested in selling the company, in part because there are other projects he’d like to develop.

Tags: Around Florida, Education

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Blue Origin launches, lands New Shepard rocket booster
Blue Origin launches, lands New Shepard rocket booster

Blue Origin completed a test flight this week that successfully launched a vehicle to space and landed the rocket booster. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you think playing daily fantasy sports (and betting) is gambling, or not?

  • Yes, it's gambling
  • No, it's a game of skill

See Results

Ballot Box