Burt Coaching For Innovation

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Burt Coaching For Innovation

  1. 1. Coaching for Innovation March 19, 2009 Burt L. Swersey Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [email_address] Burtswersey.blogspot.com
  2. 2. Two Ways Students View Their Work <ul><li>“ My idea is great”! </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m not sure how good it is.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Bullex Fire Extinguisher Training System www.bullexsafety.com <ul><li>Start- Stove-top fire safety in </li></ul><ul><li>Sophomore Design Course, Fall 2001 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Iterations, Evolution <ul><li>Inventor’s Studio- Paul and Steve continue Fall 2003, Spring 2004 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SOTA- much prior art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Race Car fire Safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Smart” Fire Extinguisher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SOTA- Opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Discovered” need for better training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial components in new arrangement </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Class Project to Commercial <ul><li>John and Steve accept jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Failure of TekAlert </li></ul><ul><li>Ryan and John switch to this project </li></ul><ul><li>Funding from NCIIA </li></ul><ul><li>Winner, Business Plan Competition </li></ul><ul><li>Profitable in first year of operation 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>2009- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50 + Employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanded product line </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. How to Evaluate a Concept? <ul><li>Rubric </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Far better in ALL respects, than what exists. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It takes same energy, money, time to create a great product as an ordinary one. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore… </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Criteria Scoring- 1 to 5 5 is highest Candidate Score Bullex Score Comments on candidate for each criteria Time to bring product to market- years 1yr=5 2yr=3 3yr=2 4 yr or more=1 5 Need for the product or service Mandated= 5 Strong= 4 Moderate=3 A “Want”= 1 5 Potential for Patent Little prior art=5 Much prior art=1 5 It MUST be patentable or eliminate Approvals Needed Before sale None= 5 UL= 4 FDA=1 5 $ Needed to ship first unit Bootstrap=5 > $1,000,000=1 5
  8. 8. Distribution How sold? Sell directly=5 Retail= 1 5 Bullex customers are easily targeted via- trade shows, news stories Passion Factor For your team Exciting=5 Ordinary=1 5 Potential for family of products 5 Saves money 1/10 the cost= 5 Same Cost = 1 5 Provides significant new functions 4 Useful smart features=5 1 = 2 5 Has the concept gone through a series of iterations? 3 or more= 5 First idea= 1 5 Bullex had 5 early iterations
  9. 9. EcovativeDesign.com <ul><li>Eben Bayer- RPI ME/ PDI ‘07 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vermont farm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Saw” transfer from nature to material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unsure of value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: P roduct D esign and I nnovation, is now Design, Innovation and Society </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What Made the Difference? <ul><li>A REALLY good idea. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ag Waste + Mushrooms= Innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strong Mentoring, “nudging” </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing Support </li></ul><ul><li>Seed Money, “Angel” $ </li></ul><ul><li>NCIIA Advanced Invention to Venture </li></ul><ul><li>Timing- “CleanTech” </li></ul><ul><li>Grants, Picnic Green Challenge, + </li></ul>
  11. 11. And Mostly..the Incredible Young People! <ul><li>PASSION! </li></ul><ul><li>Vision/ Skill- to take from one environment and “See” the possibility of putting it some place else. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to learn new material </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership- Presentation/ Sales skills </li></ul><ul><li>Incredible Hard Work! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Bottom Line… <ul><li>We need to change the way we teach our students. </li></ul><ul><li>More than just technical subjects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global Thinkers- “T-Shaped” (IDEO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aware of Social/ Society Needs of real people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>With empathy, passion, courage and skills to act </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Triple Bottom Line, Value Proposition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design for Value, not profit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus first on needs of users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Profits” will follow </li></ul></ul></ul>

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