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Thinking About Linking
UNH professor makes it easier to do business

Back when the Internet was still in its infancy, A.R. "Venky" Venkatachalam could see its potential.

A professor of information systems and chair of the decision sciences department, Venkatachalam first suggested using the Internet in the mid-'90s to create a national network that would help small businesses get access to venture capital. It was the first of a string of innovative projects with a common theme: take complex subjects with massive amounts of data and figure out ways for people to access that information in a useful way.

More recently, Venkatachalam received a $990,000 grant—the largest in the history of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics—from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to build a national system to provide comprehensive information to would-be financers about intellectual property liens. The system, which is being patented, allows users to search the database for intellectual property rights on patents, a process that is currently time consuming and expensive. Initially targeting three New England states, the goal is to offer the database nationally. Like much on the Internet, Venkatachalam's system will be—if all goes according to plan—easy, fast and amazingly helpful.

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