Innovation in Small Companies


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Presentation by Mike Bartlett, founder of the North Texas Angel Network and President of Vital Art and Sciences Inc.

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Innovation in Small Companies

  1. 1. Innovation inSmall Companies Mike Bartlett MIT Enterprise Forum DFW
  2. 2. The Pace of Innovation is IncreasingMarch 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 2 2
  3. 3. Innovation Outsourcing “No internal R&D group can possibly predict, evaluate or cover all possible designs or competitive positions.” Outsourcing Innovation: The New Engine of Growth by James Brian Quinn, July 15, 2000March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 3
  4. 4. Why Outsource Innovation?• Big company overhead and inertia.• Keeps the R&D cost off the books.• Small companies don’t own a factory.• Buying a company gives good press.Innovation in most Big Companies is just not working!March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 4
  5. 5. Where Is the Innovation?• 64% of net new jobs in the US over the last 15 years came from small business and a substantial portion of those new jobs were created by the high growth, high impact small businesses. (Source: Brookings Institution)• Not to be confused with the Main Street businesses: restaurants, car repair shops, dry cleaners, and the myriad of other small operations who contribute little net job growth.March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 5
  6. 6. Basic Requirements of a High Growth Start-up Company1. “Fire in the Belly”2. A great idea!3. Technical Skills in building and running a company.4. FundingMarch 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 6
  7. 7. Who Does a Start-Up? Source: Robert W. Fairlie, Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 7
  8. 8. Baby Boomers• Boomers have broader job skills• Better access to capital – both their own savings and through personal networks• Also at a life stage where starting a business is less risky and more attractive.76M Boomers retiring could drive a new Entrepreneurship Boom on their own!March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 8
  9. 9. Generation Y• Generation Y may be the most entrepreneurial generation ever. Percentage of respondents 18 – 29 years of age who wanted to:March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 9
  10. 10. Why the US Leads?• Culture• Direct access to the world’s biggest consumer marketMarch 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 10
  11. 11. A Great Idea?• Probably the biggest barrier to a successful new company.• Need “Domain Knowledge” from working in a field for several years to identify the needs and gaps.March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 11
  12. 12. 2011 Angel Investments ($’s)March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett Source: Angel Resource Institute – 2011 Halo Report 12
  13. 13. Entrepreneurship Training• Can Entrepreneurship be taught?• More than 2,000 college and universities in the United States, about two-thirds of the total, now offer a course in entrepreneurship (Kauffman Foundation).March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 13
  14. 14. Basic Requirements of a High Growth Start-up Company1. “Fire in the Belly”2. A great idea!3. Technical Skills in building and running a company.4. FundingMarch 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 14
  15. 15. Funding Sources• Friends & Family – to validate the product• Angels and Private Investors• Federal Grants - SBIR• VC’s (if you can find one)• The best funding source – Customers!March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 15
  16. 16. March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 16
  17. 17. Summary• The pace of innovation is accelerating• Driven largely by small companies• Boomers plus Gen Y will lead• Primary areas: Social and Healthcare• It will affect the future for all of us!March 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 17
  18. 18. How Are You Involved? • Start or Join a Small Company • Help a Start-up – Mentoring – Funding • Teach Entrepreneurship • Help improve the Innovation climate in Texas & the USMarch 29, 2012 Mike Bartlett 18