What lean startup model tells us about tech transfer?


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Prez at 2010 Technology Transfer Society conference -

full program at http://business.gwu.edu/t2s

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What lean startup model tells us about tech transfer?

  1. 1. “Lean startup” model: From fad to best practice in technology commercialization… and its implications for understanding “entrepreneurial” universities Norris Krueger, Entrepreneurship Northwest Dianne Welsh, University of North Carolina Greensboro Deborah Brazeal, Cal Poly Pomona Technology Transfer Society 2010
  2. 2. Comparing Innovation Systems: the Entrepreneurial Edge Theme of this conference Opportunities for T2S & members Idea #1: What could we learn if we compared: Innovation systems? Entrepreneurial ecosystems? Idea #2: And if it's truly about being… entrepreneurial... WHY is it so HARD?
  3. 3. Comparing Innovation Systems: the Edge IS Entrepreneurial What makes the special places.. special? A focus on nurturing entrepreneurial mindset How do we know if universities are more “entrepreneurial”? (Diagnostics?) Beyond “best practice”? Diagnostics: Comparing entrepreneurial ecosystems & ecosystems? Org Devel: Competencies?
  4. 4. What we know Phan & Siegel (2006): Universities must have a technology transfer strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship (not a 'bolt-on') TTOs' experience matters – how often is there a strong training in entrepreneurship, let alone the mindset? [ Krueger & Brazeal 1994; Krueger 2000, 2009a, 2009b; Tello, Latham, & Kijewski, 2010; Siegel et al. (2003, 2007) ]
  5. 5. Locus of entrepreneurship? TTOs & b-schools too often are poorly connected (Wright, Piva, Mosey & Lockett 2010) University entrepreneurship is at least multi- disciplinary, if not transdisciplinary – a critical insight (Rothaermel, Agung, & Jiang, 2007).
  6. 6. * Cooperative Research Centers (CRCs) & Engineering Research Centers (Hayton, Sehili, & Scarpello, 2010). * SBIR - Small Business Innovation Research (Link & Scott, fc) * Proof of Concept Centers (Gulbranson & Audretsch, 2008) Leading new 'Best Practice' models
  7. 7. from Incubating to Accelerating POC centers: eg, MIT, UCSD Physical accelerators: eg, Y-Combinator Virtual accelerators: eg, TechStars Immersion experiences: eg, Startup Weekend A Clue?: Why does SW get so little traction at universities?
  8. 8. What do accelerators share?... (And great entrepreneurial training???) Mindset IS Key: Entrepreneurial Thinking versus Bureaucratic Thinking Problem-based learning Effectual not causal Training minds not filling memories (knowledge structure vs. knowledge content) Getting to 'Expert': Mentoring, fast feedback Sounds like...
  9. 9. Principles of Lean Startup Startup = Vehicle to Identify Scable, Sustainable Business Model Test assumptions & “pivot” Learning how to engage customers Learning to lose 'inventors syndrome” Execution >>>>> Idea How a TTO/university might follow – or not? Who does? Who says they do?
  10. 10. Durant versus Sloan? Alfred Sloan = famous; Durant = ?? Steve Blank: “Why Accountants Aren't Entrepreneurs” Teach entrepreneurship in a business school or.. Teach business in school of entrepreneurship?? Dominant Logic: Bureaucratic or entrepreneurial thinking?
  11. 11. DESIGNING METRICS Systemic Metrics Process Metrics Competencies perspective
  12. 12. Systemic Metrics Basic philosophy & assumptions: – = INTENT Protect IP or create value? (Or ???) Top-down, bottom-up or ? Focus on entrepreneurial potential? = MINDSET!
  13. 13. Triple Helix or ?? Newly dominant triple helix? or… Bridging assets? A *real* map of the system? What are the key assumptions? Any evidence to support? How does this apply to universities? (Ptolemaic or Copernican?)
  14. 14. Mindset Maybe the #1 takeaway here? Cultivate entrepreneurial thinking across entire ecosystem, entire innovation system What IS the “entrepreneurial” mindset”? How will we know when a university is doing this?
  15. 15. Entrepreneurial Potential Entrepreneurial potential = f(potential entrepreneurs) Increasing the quantity & quality of entrepreneurs “ICE”: Innovation = Creativity + Entrepreneurship 1) Cultivate the mindset in everyone AND 2) Provide supporting ecosystem – [human capital & social capital] What characterizes ideal university efforts?
  16. 16. PROCESS METRICS Cutting Edge Tools Modeling Best Efforts Sustainability
  17. 17. Cutting Edge Tools More than “best practices” Tools that reflect 21st century thinking? Tool that reflect entrepreneurial thinking! Example #1: Key assumptions of what’s become known as “lean startup” Example #2: SoMe… done right
  18. 18. Modeling Best Efforts Mimetic Isomorphism Who are the role models? Are they looking at the outstanding programs? (or just looking at “peers”?) My favorites: U of Utah and STVP Again: How will we know?
  19. 19. Engaging Entire Ecosystem Not enough to recognize • there IS an ecosystem and • entrepreneurs needed at its heart Breadth of Ecosystem Engagement • Life cycle / pipeline Quality of Ecosystem Engagement Again, what characterizes the truly entrepreneurial university?
  20. 20. Research Project #1 Comparative studies of: state Innovation Councils and/or state Technology Councils Catalog what they do & how they do it Map onto ‘best practices’ or? Example: comparing Idaho with the Basque Country, Oregon, North Carolina
  21. 21. Research Project #2 Recurring desire by trade groups for tech transfer “competencies” implications for testing (certification) implications for training Huge risks of using “business as usual” Combine: comparative study and Existing knowledge base re ‘best practice’