TI:GER® Program
Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results, or TI:GER®, is a collaboration between Emory Law and Georgia Institute of Technology.

The TI:GER program combines classroom instruction, team-based activities, externships, and networking opportunities into a total educational experience.

TI:GER is an innovative partnership between two world-class institutions—Emory and Georgia Institute of Technology—that brings together graduate students in law, business, science, and engineering to work on start-up projects. The goal: transform highly promising research into economically viable products.

It's not a typical law school experience. Electronic medical records, cardiovascular drugs, prosthetic legs, water-testing devices . . . Emory Law students have worked on all of these through TI:GER. Emory Law students provide a crucial legal perspective to their TI:GER teams, helping bring to the forefront ideas and inventions that can change the world and save lives.

"The best way to learn how to turn ideas into marketable technology is to offer a curriculum that both teaches the process and practices the method."

Tim Holbrook, Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Law

TI:GER lab

Students gain real-world legal experience as part of small teams that seek to accelerate the process of moving products and ideas from the lab to the marketplace. A two-year, three-course core curriculum teaches TI:GER students about patent and technology law, the technology commercialization process, and fundamentals of business and finance.

TI:GER's Five Key Benefits

  1. Multidisciplinary approach
  2. Practical, hands-on experience
  3. Teamwork focus
  4. Merger of classroom and high-tech laboratory environments
  5. Exposure to top executives, entrepreneurs, and attorneys

"The TI:GER program goes far beyond an academic program and has changed how I approach my legal education. It helped me get out of the classroom, test my ideas, and establish real connections with leading experts from a variety of fields. TI:GER has definitely been the highlight of my education at Emory University School of Law." –Ernesto Escobar 14L

TI:GER team
Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration

Law students can choose between two TI:GER tracks—technology/business law and patent law (science or engineering background required for this track). A business student and PhD candidate comprise the remainder of the team.

Students collaborate to commercialize and advance the PhD candidate's early stage research as far as possible, contributing their strengths and learning from other team members. Law students learn to develop an appreciation of issues and concerns from a "client" perspective.

In the first year, you and your team will conduct research in the patent filings area and generate a market analysis, before looking into corporate finance and commercialization. The second year is focused on preparing a business plan and networking with a start-up company from Georgia Tech's incubator. 

Each TI:GER team is paired with a business mentor, an attorney mentor, and professors from Emory Law and Georgia Tech. In addition to guidance from classroom guest speakers and mentors, the TI:GER Industry Advisory Board—composed of lawyers, investors, inventors, and executives—provides expertise and guidance to students.

Market-Ready Skills in High Tech Product Development

Incoming first year MBA students are selected for the TI:GER® program based on academic excellence, entrepreneurial or innovation-related work experience, and likely interest in technology commercialization as a career alternative.

In TI:GER® we examine the technology commercialization from each of three different perspectives:

  • University Technology Transfer
  • Corporate Innovation and Intrapreneurship
  • Venture Creation and Entrepreneurship

For MBAs, the program is designed to build market-ready skills in high-tech product conceptualization, development, and launch and specifically the ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary innovation teams regardless of the business setting.

Each MBA in TI:GER® receives a Graduate Research Assistance (GRA) that provides financial support for the two-year MBA program. GRA work assignments will be designed to supplement TI:GER® program content and introduce students to various organizations around the Georgia Tech campus that are focused on University Technology Transfer including VentureLab and the Office of Technology and Licensing (OTL).

Intersection of Technology, Law, and Business

Industry studies indicate that the biggest problems in science and technology research and development are

  • managing R&D for business growth;
  • balancing long-term and short-term initiatives in R&D;
  • the integration of R&D and business strategy;
  • making innovation happen; and
  • assessing scientist productivity.

Interestingly none of these of these issues are purely technology related. In fact, the major issues are all at the intersection of technology, law, and business application. Other studies related specifically to post doctorates reveal that although PhDs in science and technology will typically have outstanding technology skills, these graduates often lack skills in management, communication, and working effectively in a team. The purpose of TI:GER® is to help PhD students develop an awareness of innovation processes particularly as they relate to the business and legal activities necessary to commercialize new technology and to build skills that will help them succeed, whether they remain in a university environment as a researcher or move into an industry setting.

The TI:GER® program is targeted towards PhD candidates that have typically completed their second year in the PhD program, passed their discipline qualifiers, and have selected a research topic. To be accepted for TI:GER®, students must have an outstanding track record in academics, express an interest in technology transfer and entrepreneurship, and be recommended by their academic adviser. 

Each PhD candidate receives a National Science Foundation (NSF) IGERT stipend that provides substantial financial support for their research. Stipends will be awarded on an annual basis for the two years that the PhD is in the TI:GER® program. Students will also be designated as NSF IGERT fellows. Additionally each PhD student will receive a presidential fellowship. PhDs will receive very early exposure of their technology to legal, business, and market issues and will be able to leverage these insights in terms of adjusting research direction or priorities. The program in effect increases the probability that the student's research will have both technical and market relevance.

Courses for JD Students

TI:GER classroom

TI:GER®participants attend courses as a "community of students," with course assignments driving the TI:GER®team activities. Courses expose students to leading thinkers and practitioners in the areas of technology commercialization and include guest speakers, a business lab, retreats, and workshops. Students also have access to an enhanced library of business and worldwide intellectual property databases and to campus-based high-tech research labs.  

  • Students must complete all required courses plus at least 8 elective credit hours to qualify for the Emory TI:GER® Certificate.
  • Students choose either the Patent Law Track or the Technology Law Track.
  • Students may obtain permission from Professors Rector, Carney, or Shepherd to further personalize their elective package.
  • See the Emory Law Academic Catalog for course descriptions.
Required Courses
Required Tracks (choose one of three below)
  • Patent Track, Option 1
    • Intellectual Property
    • Patent Law
  • Patent Track, Option 2
    • Patent Law
    • Copyright Law
    • Trademark Law
    • (One of these courses will count toward the IP elective requirement)
  • Technology Track
    • Intellectual Property
    • Securities Regulation
Elective Courses
  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Administrative Law
  • Analytical Methods for Lawyers
  • Antitrust Law
  • Commercial Law: Sales
  • Computer Law
  • Copyright Law
  • Corporate Finance
  • Doing Deals: Accounting in Action
  • Doing Deals: Commercial Real Estate Transactions and Workshop
  • Doing Deals: Corporate Practice Workshop
  • Doing Deals: Contract Drafting
  • Doing Deals: Deal Skills
  • Doing Deals: General Counsel—The Multifaceted Representation of the Corporate Client
  • Doing Deals: IP Practice
  • Doing Deals: Mergers and Acquisitions Workshop
  • Doing Deals: Negotiated Corporate Transactions
  • Doing Deals: Private Equity 
  • Doing Deals: Venture Capital
  • Entertainment Law
  • Federal Income Taxation: Corporations
  • Food and Drug Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property or Technology Law Externship
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Introduction to Law and Economics
  • Licensing Courses
  • Negotiations 
  • Patent Law
  • Patent Prosecution Workshop
  • Secured Credit
  • Securities Regulation
  • Special Topics in Technology Commercialization II
  • Statistics for Lawyers
  • Taxation of Pass-Thru Entities
  • Trademark Law

Faculty Affiliated with Emory Law

Anne Rector
Administrative Professor for Legal Writing
Areas of Expertise: TI:GER®, LWRAP, Corporate Practice
Profile »   E-mail »

Tim Holbrook
Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Law 
Areas of Expertise: Patent Law, International Patent Law, Patent Litigation, Trademark Law and Policy, Property Law
Profile »   E-mail »

Tina W. McKeon
Attorney, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Areas of Expertise: Patents, Trademarks, Biotechnology
E-mail »

Administrators and Faculty Affiliated with Georgia Tech

Spring Asher
Business Communication
E-mail »

Margi Berbari
Program Director, TI:GER® 
Profile »   E-mail »

Marco Ceccagnoli
Assistant Professor
Area of Expertise: Strategy
Profile »   E-mail »

Marie C. Thursby
Hal and John Smith Chair in Entrepreneurship; Executive Director, Ti:GER®
Area of Expertise: Strategic Management
Profile »   E-mail »

Lecturers

Philip Cooper
Partner, Locke Lord Bissell
Profile »   E-mail »

Kathleen Kurre
CEO, TechBridge
Profile »   E-mail »

Michael Lasky
Altera Law Group
Profile »  

Jeff Leavitt
Partner, DLA Piper
Profile »   E-mail » 

Applying to the TI:GER Program

Emory Law students apply in the spring semester of their first year. The competitive process includes submitting a statement of interest, a resume, your academic records, and an overview of your undergraduate experience. A group of Emory Law faculty members reviews the applications using a rigorous selection process. Approximately 12 to 18 students are selected to participate each eyar. 

2015 Deadlines

The deadline for submitting all information is in March—date to be announced. Acceptance decisions are made in early April.

Questions? Contact edna.patterson@emory.edu »

Apply online »