What role does an inventor usually play in a company?

Yale University’s faculty typically serve as technology consultant, advisor or in some other technical developmental capacity. Some university faculty choose to play founding roles in the formation and financing of companies. Rarely does Yale’s faculty choose to leave Yale and join the startup. In many cases, the faculty role is suggested by the startup investors and management team who identify the best role based on the inventor’s expertise and interests. As the company matures, and additional investment is required, the inventor’s role may change. Yale University’s faculty involvement of any kind in a startup is also reviewed by Yale’s Conflict of Interest Committee. Student inventors and postdocs may choose to join the startup upon graduation but typically will partner with more experienced business executives to manage the new company.