As a university faculty member, you helped develop a technology that was licensed to industry. As part of the deal, you were given a share of the royalties from future products. The future is here, and the royalty checks may not be rolling in--or if they are coming in, they're not enough to fund your life's dream. Perhaps you should consider doing what companies, universities, and more and more individuals are doing: in the words of Walter Flamenbaum, a partner in Paul Capital Partners in New York, "monetization, taking an asset and turning it into money."

In the strictest sense, this method will "monetize" a "royalty stream," as the term is used by David Robinson, chairman and CEO of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, a company that has taken advantage of this method to bring in cash. In other words, this is the sale of royalties--in these cases,...

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