The Baekeland Story   Marc Lambrechts   New Materials Venturing Day - 2007-12
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The Baekeland Story Marc Lambrechts New Materials Venturing Day - 2007-12

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A presentation given on the New Materials Venturing Day organised by the University of Gent. ...

A presentation given on the New Materials Venturing Day organised by the University of Gent.

The presentation describes Leo Baekeland as a serial entrepreneur of materials ventures. The authors distill out of this experience lessons for today ventures.

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  • 1. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Many thanks for Johan to ask me as “Chinese volunteer” to give this introduction . I discovered a real serial entrepreneur/industrialist and h di d l i l /i d i li d have read with passion the variety d ih i h i of Baekeland stories and material you can find in electronic archives on the internet and the several books about or written by Leo Baekeland. The Baekeland story confirms actual VC investment strategies and provides food for thought on the best business models for material ventures. Thanks to Kristien De Wolf for the assistance in preparing the slides and the background research performed. h f d Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 2. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 I discoved a common background with Leo! Boyhood interest in photography Inspired by all the chemicals my grandfather has used to make its own photographic formulation Above a restored picture made by my grandfather Marc Jansen, Tienen I am currently digitizing and restoring an extensive collections of glass plates from my grandfather df th => converting fading atoms into electrons back in hopefully stable atoms on my hard disk Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 3. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 The timeline with the main events in the live of Leo. Picture is the Time cover of 22 September 1924. “Nothing succeeds like success” = a quote used by Leo at several occasions Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 4. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Second half of the 19th century : - Photography was only available at fairs and known by only a few amateurs - These pictures are from Arnold Vander Haeghen, an amateur photographer in Gent www. www.beeldbankgent.be - Industrial revolution - Automation in metal and textile industry - Logistics improve dramatically - Trade and financial world bloomingg - Chemicals companies grow (Solvay) But also: - Bad social circumstances - Socialism and strikes Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) – was Leo’s move to the US the catalyst for high gro th? growth? Inventarisnummer: 2004-247-099 Objecttype: glasnegatief Titel: Betogende jonge mannen tijdens de werkstaking van 1893 Beschrijving: Jonge leden van de Gentse metaalbewerkersbond op het Koophandelsplein tijdens de werkstaking van april 1893. Duizenden mensen deden mee aan de algemene staking en kwamen op straat om te betogen voor algemeen stemrecht. Deze jonge arbeiders passeren net het justitiepaleis. Ze zijn vermoedelijk op weg naar een meeting op het Sint-Pietersplein Het bordje dat meegedragen wordt heeft als Sint Pietersplein. opschrift: "Gent metaalbewerkers bond". Straat: Koophandelsplein Plaats: Gent Vervaardiger: Vander Haeghen, A. Beginjaar datering: 1893 Eindjaar datering: 1893 Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 5. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Leo was born out of a poor family – for all clarity in Gent and not in Sint Martens-Latem. Both his father and mother were illiterate illiterate. His father was a shoemaker and had a pub “Au Jardin du Glacis” His visionary mother, a domestic servant, stimulates Baekeland to study He studied chemical technology at the Ghent Municipal Technical School 1880 – entered the first year at the Ghent University and became a lecture assistant and tutor to earn some extra money to support his studies “ a boy in humble circumstances could make his way by his own effort” 1884 - at the age of 21: Dr. in Science with a magna cum laude grade Continued to work at university and as lecturer at a school in Brugge 1887 – won a prestigious prize “laureate in chemistry” a gold medal and a travelling fellowship to visit universities in London, Oxford and Edinburg: “ votre nom est inscrit dans notre livre d’or. N’oubliez toutefois jamais que noblesse oblige” Key enablers Leo’s mother Scolarship of the City of Gent Laboratory started by Kelule – the facilities to perform research Prof. Theodore Swarts – his mentor and professor Dr. Désiré Van Monckhoven – the first producer of photographic plates in Gent and instrumental in the photo industry Leo remained passionated by photography as an amateur and by photographic processes 1887 – first invention “a dry glass plate with chemicals added on the back” Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 6. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 1887– first company ‘Baekeland & Cie Scheikundige producten’ Business partner and investor Jules Guecquier whose father earned his wealth in real estate Jules was a wealthy colleague at the university, a friend (and a fool?) and owner of the building the company started in Best man at Leo’s wedding Palinghuizen 120 First customers were friends Baekeland’s first venture does not s r i e the “Chasm” ent re survive “Chasm”. Combines 2 jobs & company, Leo left after his marriage to the US and left as key man his venture in Gent in the cold the company failed => financial catastrophy for the Jules Guecquier family – he spent his complete fortune in this venture according to his daughter. Note – patent is one page long Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 7. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Prof Chandler = consultant to Anthony and Co – manufacturer of photographic dry plates and b d bromide photosensitive paper. id h ii 1892 Leo filed a US patent on an antiseptic compound for preserving meat and fish! Leo gathers industry experience – in this regard Leo said later in his live (1918?) : “I feel very grateful for the excellent opportunities of education I had at the University of Ghent. I should state, however, that my real intense education only began after I had left the university, as soon as I became confronted with the big problems and responsibilities of practical life; this education I received mainly in the United States, where for twenty-seven years I was thrown in contact with so many varied subjects. I hope to remain until I die a post graduate student at that greater school of practical life, which has no fixed curriculum and where no academic degrees are conferred, but where wrong petty theories are best cured by hard knocks.” Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 8. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Leo wants to be free to work on a range of ‘interesting things’. Becomes an independent chemical consultant But …no means to create a real industry Becomes ill and overworked A cash crunch and “depression” lead to sober reflection. The outcome : focus on a passion => photography Text on slide is statement from Leo. Source : Biographical Memoir Of Leo Hendrik g p Baekeland 1863-1944 by Charles F. Kettering – page 284 Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 9. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Starts to focus again and starts his second venture: Nepera Chemical company to commercialise Velox photo paper paper. First substantial sales in 1897 – Leo crossed the chasm! Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 10. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Production problems related to controlling humidity in the process (static electricity). To solve this problem Leo also built air conditioning systems air-conditioning systems. In a paper presented in 1903 he said: "In photographic paper factories hygrometers and electroscopes should be consulted as often as the thermometer.“ Text on slide is statement from Leo. Source : Biographical Memoir Of Leo Hendrik Baekeland 1863-1944 by Charles F. Kettering – page 285 y g p g Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 11. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 1899 - sold the company to Kodak for 750.000 $ + 100.000 $ for additional knowledge <> 25 000 $ 25.000 It is unclear if this story is true – 750,000 versus 1 M – a letter from Leo to his friend in Belgium exists describing more than 4 visits of Leo to Eastman Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 12. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Boat – the ION A Family Tour through Europe – described in a book by Leo Baekeland and published by the Horsless age Snug Rock in Yonckers NY overlooking the Hudson river “Thus at thirty-five I found myself in comfortable financial circumstances, a free man, ready to devote myself again to my favorite studies. Then truly began the very happiest period of my life. I improvised one of the buildings at my residence in Yonkers into a modest but conveniently equipped laboratory. Henceforth I was able to work at various problems of my own free choice. In this way I enjoyed for several years that great blessing, the luxury of not being interrupted in one's favorite work.” Source : Biographical Memoir Of Leo Hendrik Baekeland 1863-1944 by Charles F. Kettering – page 285 Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 13. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Learned during his sabbatical about the potential of electrochemistry Leo was a consultant instrumental in the start of Hooker Chemical Company (later known as OxiChem) His contribution = not the invention of the electrolytic cell but the stepwise improvement to a system that works in an industrial environment – common theme in his contribution to the Velox, Hooker and Bakelite success? Velox Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 14. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 The shellac issue was one of the hot topics of chemical research at the turn of the century. Th sole source of shellac was the excretions of the f The l f h ll h i f h female L l Laccifer l if lacca beetle, found only in India and Southeast Asia, i.e. a biobased material! Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 15. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 The famous patent that is 100 years old (source www.google.com/patents); 3 pages! Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 16. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Picture source : Brochure UGent , gazeTTe 2007-06 Applications as electrical insulators, radios, photographic equipment, toys, tableware and even prestigious jewelry Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 17. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 For further discussion – how Leo positioned his resin invention into the value chain of raw material manufacturers, moulders and end-users. Different strategy for Europe and US? Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 18. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Source : Biographical Memoir Of Leo Hendrik Baekeland 1863-1944 by Charles F. Kettering – page 288 K i For discussion : is a licence-only based business model feasible for material venturing start-ups today? Any succesful examples? Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 19. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 1939: Merger with Union Carbide Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 20. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Leo was also an active networker and involved in improving the US patent system Source of the quotes : Biographical Memoir Of Leo Hendrik Baekeland 1863-1944 by Charles F. Kettering – page 290 Picture : Report of the Patent Committee of the National Research Council* Presented for the Committee by L.H. Baekeland Acting Chairman Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 21. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Read carefully and take into account in your venture or when deciding on investment! The Chandler lecture is a pleasant read – available as free electronic download on www.archive.org Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 22. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 23. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Too late for making money from the tragic story of murder and suicide in the Baekeland family h film Savage G f il – the fil S Grace will b released i 2008 F those i ill be l d in 2008. For h interested i d in chemistry, the story in Save Grace is about the personal chemistry between a son, a mother, lovers, .... and yes personal chemistry of an explosive nature. Industrial chemistry started by the need to replace biobased materials (e.g. fertilizers, resins, ..) by synthetic material. Today we see a great interest in replacing again synthetic (fossil fuel based) materials by renewable biobased materials. Solar PV, wind turbines, fuel cells, batteries or other technologies for energy storage all depend on breakthroughs in material research Technology fusion is a key enabler in several giant opportunities. But ... multidisciplinary teams required. Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 24. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners
  • 25. New Materials Venturing Event Gent - 19 December 2007 Universiteit Gent & Please feel free to use but respect the following creativecommons licence Marc Lambrechts, Capricorn http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en Venture Partners