Mission: Extend the impact of UW's educational innovations to additional students and teachers and endow further research and development.

Four people sit around a wooden table with glasses of water and pen and paper, discussing something together. There are plants near the table, and the walls of the room are painted yellow.

What We Do

The Wisconsin Center for Education Products & Services is working to impact education around the world. WCEPS was founded November 23rd, 2010 by friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The first full-time employee came on board June of 2011. We meet a growing demand for bringing education research and development to the general public through our partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a world-class research institution. UW-Madison has a long history in the field of education, from research to creating innovative educational tools. Whether it's testing instruments, curricular materials or educational software, WCEPS delivers these copyrightable products to educators and students around the world to help improve education.

Guiding Principles

  • Deliver products and services that help educators and learners. If products enhance teaching and learning revenue will be generated from them.
  • Delight all clients. WCEPS's clients are the students who benefit from the materials, the educators who purchase from us, and the UW creators who disseminate through us. We need to earn positive word of mouth.
  • Focus on the largest opportunities. With limited resources, we focus on intellectual property that will allow WCEPS to have sustainable, meaningful impact on the largest number of students and teachers.
  • Respect all ideas and respond thoughtfully to all potential collaborators. WCEPS can't take on every great educational innovation that deserves to go to market. We'll tell potential collaborators what we're working on, respond quickly to their inquiries, and provide a brief business plan. If conditions change and they want to work with WCEPS in the future, we'll be open to it.
  • Match rigorous research with rigorous market analysis. The market and financial research supporting the delivery of new products and services to market must match the rigor of the educational research.
  • Be honest and open about strengths and weaknesses. Transparency helps us maximize strengths and improve upon weaknesses. Each week, our goal is to get 1% better at our jobs.

The Process

Below is a list of the typical steps to commercialize research from the university of Wisconsin-Madison, including specific issues to consider. Some of these steps may not be relevant to your situation, or there may be additional steps or issues. WCEPS can assist you at every level of this process, and works closely with content creators to find the most efficient and effective way to disseminate your product or service.

Determine the potential for commercialization for your product or service, including:

  • Identify the need for your product. In other words, define the problem you are solving for your customers and its magnitude.
  • Research the market, including the potential market size and the current competitive landscape. Describe how your offering is better than what is currently available.
  • Identify your ideal customers and the reasons they would be willing to pay for your product or service.
  • Determine whether your product or service allows schools to satisfy a specific rule or compliance requirement.

 Determine ownership of the intellectual property for your product or service

  • Review the relevant agreements for any ownership stipulations. Common agreements to consider are funding (i.e. grants) or employment agreements.
  • Identify all contributors to the intellectual property of the work, including verifying the role contributed, i.e. a student, a student hourly, academic staff, faculty, etc., and determining the extent of each contribution.
    • While copyright law typically gives an employer copyright ownership, UW Copyright Policy sometimes grants that ownership back to the creators.
  • Catalog which UW resources were used and the extent of that use.

Go to market

  • Refine your business model
  • Determine your Minimum Viable Product
  • Create a pilot program to determine market viability and the most effective way to grow your business.
  • Create a marketing plan and scale your business
    • Marketing plans include leveraging WCEPS’s current customer base, attending conferences or site visits, creating a social media presence, and promoting via digital or print.