Trending: Expedia cuts 3,000 jobs, including 500 at new Seattle HQ — read the internal email to employees
Beamed-power lights
An array of LED bulbs light up with the power from a microwave energy source. Intellectual Ventures’ Russell Hannigan shows how blocking the beamed microwaves shuts off the power. The technology could provide the basis for wireless power transmission. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Calling all entrepreneurs: Intellectual Ventures is launching a new business unit called ISF Incubator to match up its inventions with outsiders who can turn them into breakthrough businesses.

The move is part of the Bellevue, Wash.-based company’s effort to escape its “patent troll” stereotype and capitalize on home-grown intellectual property.

“We have the inventions, the resources and the know-how, and now we need passionate entrepreneurs who can execute,” Conrad Burke, vice president of new ventures, said today in a blog post announcing the incubator’s launch.

ISF Incubator is an outgrowth of Intellectual Ventures’ Invention Science Fund, which has long focused on commercializing in-house technologies through spin-outs. The best-known examples include Kymeta, Echodyne, Evolv and Pivotal Commware, all of which take advantage of beam-bending metamaterials.

Burke said Intellectual Ventures has spun out 15 companies in all, which have raised a total of $700 million in funding and created more than 400 jobs.

“We continue to believe hardware is the catalyst for fundamental change in big markets,” he wrote. “The current pipeline of ISF Incubator spin-outs is poised to do the same with breakthroughs in low-cost sensors, wireless power transmission and biomedical devices.”

Burke put out the call for “ambitious entrepreneurs, fundable CEOs and market disruptors” to review ISF’s patent database and get in touch with the incubator team.

ISF Incubator has dual headquarters, in Bellevue as well as in Cupertino in California’s Silicon Valley. Its business model envisions profiting from royalties on patents as well as from stakes in spin-outs.

Intellectual Ventures — which has Microsoft veteran Nathan Myhrvold as its co-founder and CEO — spun out a different business unit, its Invention Development Fund, as a stand-alone company called Xinova last year.

Xinova matches up business clients who are in search of a specific innovation with a network of inventors who could make it so. It’s different from ISF in that it doesn’t focus on Intellectual Ventures’ in-house assets.

This year, Xinova itself created a spin-out called Allied Inventors to focus on licensing and commercializing intellectual property assets.

Subscribe to GeekWire's Space & Science weekly newsletter


Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.