Beyond the Breakthrough 112 Tatiana Litvin Vechnyak Being a university in Washington DC poses interesting challenges, but Georgetown University's Tatiana Litvin-Vechnyak is determined to turn them into opportunities.

Weirdly, being located at the heart of the US capital doesn’t always help Georgetown University when it comes to creating spinout companies. State universities often have economic development mandates that they can follow, but in Washington DC Georgetown is in something of a vacuum — with little direction for what to focus on, less set funding and fewer people pushing to advance the technologies coming out of the institution.

“How do we build those partnerships and with whom, to advance the innovations that come out of the university? And who cares about those advancements and the spinout companies that we want to bring out of the university?” — that’s the question Tatiana Litvin-Vechnyak, vice-president of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), found herself confronted with when she joined Georgetown from Rutgers University a year ago.

Litvin-Vechnyak admits she underestimated the problem, but she is finding ways to work with universities in Maryland and Virginia and creating links with federal and city officials.

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