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TRICS: Teaching Researchers and Innovators how to Create Startups


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Keynote Talk at the 14th Annual Conference of the International Society for Design and Development in Education / NUI Galway, Ireland / 29th May 2018

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TRICS: Teaching Researchers and Innovators how to Create Startups

  1. 1. Dr John Breslin Director, TechInnovate, NUI Galway TRICS: Teaching Researchers and Innovators how to Create Startups 1
  2. 2. Engineer Educator Entrepreneur 2
  3. 3. You Are Here Maps from techinnovate Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 3
  4. 4. ● fDi Best Micro City in Europe for Economic Potential 2016/2017 ● fDi Best Micro City in Europe for Business Friendliness 2016/2017 ● fDi Best Micro City in Europe Overall 2014/2015 (Second Place in 2016/2017) ● UNESCO City of Film ● Great Town of the Year (Academy of Urbanism, UK) ● Friendliest City in the World 2015 (Travel + Leisure Magazine) ● Purple Flag City 2015 ● Culture21 Pilot City ● European Region of Gastronomy 2018 ● EU Green Leaf 2017 ● Top Small City in the EU Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor 2017 ● European Entrepreneurial Region 2018 ● European Capital of Culture 2020 Right place, right time for this: Galway is a city moving forward… 4
  5. 5. ● John Ryan: Studied at NUI Galway, and in 1983, he founded what grew into the multibillion dollar company Macrovision (now TiVo), based on a technology which eventually became the world standard for video copy protection, and which today is included in virtually every DVD player and cable/satellite decoder worldwide ● Fintrax: Fintech company, originally sold for €170 million, and subsequently valued at €0.5 billion ● Creganna: Medical devices manufacturer, acquired for €821 million ● Creagh Medical: Acquired for €30 million / Crospon: €40 million, Dec. 2017 ● Embo Medical: BioInnovate alumni, acquired by CR Bard for €40 million ● Neuravi: Acquired by Johnson & Johnson for hundreds of millions of euro ● Viviscal: Hair supplements company acquired for €150 million Successful companies and innovators from Galway/the West 5
  6. 6. PCT Applicant 2015 2016 2017 CONNAUGHT ELECTRONICS LIMITED (VALEO VISION SYSTEMS) 10 22 28 ACCENTURE GLOBAL SERVICES LIMITED 12 10 14 UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN 11 7 11 FOTONATION LIMITED 1 10 10 PROTHENA BIOSCIENCES LIMITED 8 4 10 X-CELEPRINT LIMITED 4 4 10 JANSSEN R & D IRELAND 9 7 9 NURITAS LIMITED 9 DEPUY IRELAND UNLIMITED 8 Patent filings from Irish organisations WIPO PCT = Patent Cooperation Treaty 6 Data retrieved 23 May 2018 from World Intellectual Property Organization at
  7. 7. HEI Applicant Filings University College Cork 386 Trinity College Dublin 360 National University of Ireland Galway 264 Dublin City University 253 University College Dublin 225 University of Limerick 131 National University of Ireland (aggregation) 91 Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 87 Dublin Institute of Technology 76 Maynooth University 49 Patent filings from HEIs (1999-2013) DJEI/DBEI 7 Data retrieved 23 May 2018 from An-Analysis-of-Intellectual-Property-Activity-in-Ireland-Based-on-Existing-Data.pdf
  8. 8. How do we get more of our research innovations into startups/spinouts? 8
  9. 9. 1. Can people be taught how to create startups? 2. Small scale (GS5105) 3. Larger scale (STARTED) 9
  10. 10. 1. Can people be taught how to create startups? [Inspiration = Bill Aulet] Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 10
  11. 11. Definition of innovation (Edward Roberts, MIT) Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 11 Innovation = Invention * Commercialisation
  12. 12. Entrepreneurship ● Kerry-born Richard Cantillon originated the term “entrepreneur” in his 1730 book Essai (published in French in 1755), in which he expounded upon his very complex economic theories ● He first defined entrepreneurs as “non-fixed income earners who pay known costs of production but earn uncertain incomes, due to the speculative nature of pandering to an unknown demand for their product” ● Free audio book of Essai at
  13. 13. — Peter Drucker “But the very foundation of entrepreneurship is the practice of systematic innovation.” 13
  14. 14. Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 14 Innovation and entrepreneurship Innovation Technology essentials Knowledge of science and engineering Skills to develop Skills to build Entrepreneurship Business essentials Venture engineering Knowledge to frame decisions Skills to start Skills to grow
  15. 15. Past 1. Practitioner or academic 2. Little differentiation between types of entrepreneurship 3. Demand was relatively small and field was seen as a niche (orphan?) 4. Not perceived as a worthy academic pursuit 5. Can it be taught? Should it be taught? Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 15
  16. 16. Can entrepreneurship be taught? Yes! Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 16
  17. 17. Crisis in E’ship Education Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 17
  18. 18. Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 18 The spirit of entrepreneurship Paul Kenny
  19. 19. Importance of spirit Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 19 “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” -- Steve Jobs ● Creative irreverence
  20. 20. But what is happening... Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 20 Crisis in entrepreneurship education “Education by storytelling” Gets the spirit but not the skills Makes it sound easy It is not! Requires discipline...
  21. 21. Hence, disciplined entrepreneurship “A 24 step systematic approach to help you dramatically increase the odds that you will build a product that the market wants and will be highly profitable, and/or impactful, to you as well – for new and experienced entrepreneurs.” -- Bill Aulet Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 21
  22. 22. + Skills of a Navy SEAL Spirit of a pirate Successful entrepreneurship = Pirate / Navy SEAL images from Wikipedia / Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 22
  23. 23. ● Idea ○ Starting point and comes from you and your team - be a pirate! ● Team ○ This is the hard stuff and takes time and work ○ Some key considerations (passion, values, heterogeneity, size, skills, etc.) ● Process ○ This is what we teach at TechInnovate with Bill Aulet’s 24 Steps of Disciplined Entrepreneurship - be a Navy SEAL! What do you need to start a successful new venture? Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 23
  24. 24. How should entrepreneurship be taught? Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 24 1. Open (common language and best tools) 2. Systems approach (integrated and prescriptive) 3. Rigorous but practical (head and hands)
  25. 25. The process: 24 steps This toolbox was put together by Bill Aulet, with elements common to Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, Blue Ocean Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Democratizing Innovation, Experimentation Matters, The Lean Startup, Business Model Generation, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, and Bill’s own thesis 25
  26. 26. Entrepreneurship education framework ( Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 26
  27. 27. For example... Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 27
  28. 28. A. Who is your customer? 28
  29. 29. 157M Women in the US 6M Pregnant annually 2M First-time moms In the US, there are 2M women like Michelle But not enough… Need to get to $’s per year TAM sizing example: inTouch Photo from / Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 29 inTouch Connecting mommies with their babies Share via social media Technology Savvy Want convenience Connect with family and friends Extend her excitement Share monthly pregnancy photos IntuitiveComfortable to wear Update her care network Capture pregnancy experience Use mobile “apps” to track health Indications Low maintenance Real-time feedback Easy to use
  30. 30. US population = 300 million Sick or dependent is sick Internet user → 6.3 million mothers Mothers (2+ kids) @ 4 consultations per year College educated x $7.99 per consultation Income = $201 million / year 45-120k TAM sizing example: LiveDoc Photo from / Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 30 LiveDoc Reassurance when you want it
  31. 31. B. What can you do for your customer? 31
  32. 32. Value proposition for inTouch At the moment, Michelle can use... Heart-rate monitors and heart listening / audio-recording devices Intuition Professional ultrasound Dr Google With inTouch, Michelle may… Relax with her baby Receive feedback All photos from inTouch Connecting mommies with their babies Facilitating intimacy and providing reassurance inTouch Technology is proven • Data collection – Heart rate, movement • Intellectual property – Algorithm that correlates data to positive response
  33. 33. E. How do you design and build your product? 33
  34. 34. Picture removed due to copyright reasons LiveDoc MVP mockup available from rial-product-marketing LiveDoc MVP Video chat Upload supporting images Text chat We answer this question for $7.99 Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 34
  35. 35. Benefits of approach ● Comprehensive yet practical ● Integrated ● Proven and tested – to stand the test of time ● Sequential/prescriptive ● Creates common language for knowledge transfer and accumulation Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 35
  36. 36. Linkage of various steps is critical and underlies the integration Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 36
  37. 37. BP+ Logical Flow / Scaling / Presentation Finance Financial Statements / Investor Strategy & Pitch Execution Go-To-Market / Sales / Marketing Business Model Where to Extract Rent / Pricing Product Value Proposition / Competitive Advantage / Dev Plans Market Segment / Direct Validation / Competition People Team Composition / Values / Setting Expectations Idea Generation / Analysis / Testing on Key Stakeholders Logical flow of the process Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 37
  38. 38. Methodology ● Theory/educate ● Apply/practice ● Simulations/coaching ● Repeat steps as necessary Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 38
  39. 39. Textbooks for this process Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 39 ● “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup” ○ Bill Aulet, 2013 ● “Disciplined Entrepreneurship Workbook” ○ Bill Aulet, 2017
  40. 40. 2. Small scale (GS5105) 40
  41. 41. One for everybody in the audience ● Couldn’t/shouldn’t entrepreneurship be taught as a foundational course just like statistics is? ● How much better would it be if everybody in a company (or any organisation) could have a shared understanding of their [paying] customer (who are they, what are you doing for them, how are you acquiring and making money from them, etc.)? ● Think of ‘selling’ a new university programme, how could you apply the same entrepreneurial principles? 41
  42. 42. John Power, CEO of Aerogen, commenting on postgrad projects “It was interesting that the projects presented were technically and clinically excellent however the business / financial models were unfortunately all over the place. This reconfirmed my view that all the science and engineering disciplines need a module on entrepreneurship and business modelling.” 42
  43. 43. Innovative research with NUI Galway as a core driver (and HQ) 43
  44. 44. Hence, PhD module on “TRICS” (GS5105) ● Tailored an entrepreneurship development module for the scientific community in NUI Galway wherein the next successful and scaleable spinout is just waiting to be packaged ● Used the MIT process as the basis for a five-day programme offered to NUI Galway PhD students/postdocs in 2017, oriented towards commercialising ideas/technologies emerging from passionate researchers who were mainly from an engineering, science or medicine background 44
  45. 45. ● 33 researchers took part ○ 24 PhDs, 4 postdocs, 3 postgraduate diplomas, 1 research assistant, and 1 intern ● 12 simulation lab coaches from industry, startups and academia ○ Simulation lab is a group assessment where teams have to simulate the production and pitching of a specific part of a technology innovation business plan to a serial entrepreneur or investor ● 2 investors as judges ● 3 guest speakers ● 2 site visits to the PorterShed and the NUI Galway BIC In numbers 45
  46. 46. ● All the researchers fully engaged with the process throughout the week ● This showed through in the final presentations on the Friday, all of which were excellent considering that the majority of the researchers had no business background ○ Only one or two had taken a business course before Highly engaged participation through to final business plan pitch 46
  47. 47. Clockwise from top right: team formation, learning, simulation labs, biz plan winners 47
  48. 48. “I just would like to thank you again for organising the TechInnovate module and to allow me to participate. It was a very energetic week and I am already missing the vibe! It is hard to go back to ‘business as usual’ when faced with groups of people trying to dream big and deciding how to make the dream happen. In the case of my group we will keep in touch and who knows? Maybe one day we will see [our project] coming to life! Regarding the organisation of the module, I found it excellent. It was tiring and very intense, but it helped to keep the energy up.” “Thank you for your support! One of the best modules at NUI Galway.” “Thank you for allowing me to participate in TechInnovate I. It was my first venture behind the desk of a classroom in a long time! I found the week to be enlightening and all material and lecturing was highly insightful. I will never look at any start-up venture or SME the same again. It will benefit me in how I assess how to successfully complete many ventures, as the 24 steps of disciplined entrepreneurship have applications in many aspects of life. Although my idea didn’t make it to the final list of teams, I will have a more can-do attitude with my next ‘you know what would be a good idea’ brainwave. After the course, I intend on scoping out the feasibility of my idea on paper. In relation to the week itself, I thought that the pitching on Sunday afternoon was a great social experiment to see how people play off against one another. I was far too polite to play hardball! I thought there was great benefit in having everything compacted into 5 days as opposed to over a number of weeks or a semester.” “Many thanks for all the work you did on the course. It was an intense course to do, so I can only imagine how intense it was to actually give the course. I learned a huge amount throughout the week. I think this was through the well-designed slides and case studies, but you obviously have a strong grasp of the material and this really helped. The highlights for me were the visit from Mark White and also visiting the PorterShed. I genuinely don't have any constructive (or otherwise!) criticism. If you asked me on Thursday evening, I would have suggested that the pitching session be moved to Friday afternoon so that we could work on the pitches on Friday morning. But in hindsight, I think I preferred the way it was done. The pizza on Thursday meant we could stay late and it was nice not to be worrying about finishing the presentation on Friday morning. It was also nice to be finished before lunch on Friday. I remember you asked about delivering the course in one week as opposed to over the course of a semester. I think the delivering the course over one week has a lot of benefits over the semester long approach. It was nice to have all the information fresh in my head while working through each of the steps. I think it helps to see the bigger picture. Thanks again for delivering the course.” “Thank you very much for the well conducted course.” “I really enjoyed the week. Intense, but well structured and paced. I definitely feel I learned a lot and believe that the fact the course was run over one week allowed me to take more from it, as opposed to being delivered over a number of weeks. At the early stage of my PhD, it has opened my eyes to the opportunities which are present, locally in the University and the west of Ireland, as well as further afield.” “I really enjoyed and am applying some of the learning actually in my postdoctoral work, as we look to make the research centre I work in sustainable.” “Excellent course, particularly for those in STEM looking into business for the first time to understand the business plan and how to interest investors. Highly practical course. Full of insightful speakers and business visits. Highlights the startup cultural in Galway to early-stage researchers. A way to meet like-minded individuals and form unexpected contacts. The course was very useful and enjoyable. It was great to be fed as time was limited. Enjoyed the chances to talk to entrepreneurs daily, the innovation centre visit and the conference. A possible half day gap may have been useful before the final presentation in order to separate out understanding the theory from the final teaching day.”
  49. 49. 2. Larger scale (STARTED) 50
  50. 50. ● Based on learnings from the taught module GS5105, we proposed and now coordinate a new €1 million ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliance project called "STARTED" to expand upon this teaching at a European scale ● Starting with targeted regional development of entrepreneurial researchers ● Culminating in the creation of a proposed online European Research-to-Startup Centre (ERSC) for teaching entrepreneurship to researchers all over Europe 51
  51. 51. 52 More jobs if more R&D innovations into spinouts/subsidiaries/startups? Levels of R&D (% of GDP) on the y-axis and levels of employment (ages 15-64) on the x-axis in all EU-28 NUTS 2 regions Six areas with relatively high unemployment (< 60% employment, ages 15-64) but also relatively high R&D (> 1.5% of GDP)
  52. 52. 53 Border, Midland and Western (IE) Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (BE) Prov. Liège (BE) Lazio (IT) Languedoc-Roussillon (FR) Cataluña (ES)
  53. 53. 54 STArtup skills for Researchers and innovaTors in Entrepreneurship Development
  54. 54. Material from MIT 15.390x adapted under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 55
  55. 55. 56
  56. 56. Graphics by Gabriel Mullarkey, Started Project Leader 57
  57. 57. Entrepreneurship+R&D Innovation+Tech Transfer Graphics by Gabriel Mullarkey, Started Project Leader 58
  58. 58. Graphics by Gabriel Mullarkey, Started Project Leader 59
  59. 59. Graphics by Gabriel Mullarkey, Started Project Leader 60
  60. 60. Graphics by Gabriel Mullarkey, Started Project Leader 61
  61. 61. 62 Consortium partners
  62. 62. 1. Can people be taught how to create startups? Yes! 2. Small scale (GS5105) ✔ 3. Larger scale (STARTED) [...] 63
  63. 63. Image from 64 Any questions? Dive in and ask! @johnbreslin