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The Innovation Agency transferable skills workshop 1


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The first of 2 workshops held at the University of Cambridge, looking at the concept of The Innovation Agency, and commercialising research in general.

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The Innovation Agency transferable skills workshop 1

  1. 1. Cambridge UniversityTransferable Skill Workshop Commercialising R&D
  2. 2. Welcome & Content● Introduction● The KED Experience● The Innovation Agency● Transferable Skills – Where to start – What stage is your research at? – Testing the pitch (gathering intelligence) – IPR or TTM – Building a team● The Innovation Agency Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  3. 3. Introduction● Scientists & Engineers change the world● Scientists & Engineers build new technologies and businesses● Even the banking system used engineers and scientists to “improve” the system● Systematically commercialising research has the potential to make significant, positive change Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  4. 4. Push – Pull What - WHY● Technology Push● Market Pull● Pre-conceived ideas about commercialisation Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  5. 5. The KED ExperienceEvolving PhD research to Commercialisation
  6. 6. The KED Experience● At the beginning, there is nothing but problems. – Why do I even want to do something entrepreneurial? – What is the product? – Who is the customer? – Do I understand the customer and what they want? (probably not) – Admin issues? – More pressing issues, like “How am I going to eat?” Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  7. 7. Better things to think about● Why am I doing what I do?● Why might other people be interested in what Im doing?● Why do (or dont) I enjoy research?● What do I want from life? Crucially:What are the motivations? – the WHYS? Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  8. 8. Attacking the problem● Business is a lot like academic research, it is just a different problem space● The right mindset just “clicks” - Like research, the individual problems can be made easily tractable.● Why is the risk of depending on yourself greater than that of depending on others?● Talk to everyone, all the time. Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  9. 9. KEDs solutions so far● Knowledge Transfer Secondment● Working closely with Ian (and other people that know what theyre doing).● Finding several suppliers of ultrasound kit, and then getting them interested.● Turning the research into a tech demo – which took longer than expected.● Short term contract work to keep eating. Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  10. 10. In general● Is there any way to draw on the expertise of others?● This is the idea behind The Innovation Agency – building on the skills and knowledge of those that have gone before.● There is still a need to plant the seed, and understand the methodology. Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  11. 11. Summary● The Why? of doing anything● Building a Why? into a suitable How?: posing the question● Technologists become entrepreneurs is a big ask. In the next section we will Introduce The Innovation Agency. Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  12. 12. Explanations of the participants research 2 examples focussing on WHY
  13. 13. The Innovation Agency A brief introduction
  14. 14. WHY?● Recognising the need to help Researchers, Inventors and Innovators to develop their IPR without falling down the usual traps● Based on an audit approach with a experienced and critical eye on the outcomes of the process● Answering the questions partners, investors and customers will ask● Providing a framework to develop an exploitation route without the need to become an entrepreneur Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  15. 15. But First...... The workshop Framing the ProblemFrom Research to Commercialisation
  16. 16. Business Background● Business is a lot like Engineering, it is just a different problem space● Problem definition is a key part of the path to building a business● The “Team” aspects of a business are absolutely crucial to the potential success of the business Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  17. 17. Where to Start Why to StartNetworking & Funding
  18. 18. Lets start with some really basic questions● What stage is the research at?● How much effort will it take to get it to a saleable product/service/licensable solution?● Who are your target customers?● What is your product worth?● Is it protected?● Seems like a lot of questions........... Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  19. 19. What Stage is your Research at? Why to Start The “Valley of Death”
  20. 20. The Funding Gap Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  21. 21. Once the gap is understood how do you get across?● How determined are you? – What lengths will you go to to get your technology commercialised?● Too late for research funding?● Too early for Angels?● Too early for VCs?● Where else can you go? Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  22. 22. Challenges● Valuation● Equity● Risk/Confidence● Problems with taking money from investors Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  23. 23. Equity a very contentious subject● The earlier stage you are the more likely an investor is to want a controlling share in “your” company.● Why would you give them that?● Why wouldnt you give them control?● Giving away equity when you dont need to.● What about trading future earnings instead? Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  24. 24. Valuation● Without sales it it almost impossible to value a company and/or its IPR. – There is no formula – The owner often values far too high – The investor often values far too low● One thing is certain: no money = no progress● You have to decide what you are willing to give up and to whom. Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  25. 25. Wild Optimism● Inventors and Innovators are often wildly optimistic about their technology, product, service and how it will change the world. – Is this a good thing? – Is this a bad thing?● A balanced view is best, thinking around the problem space is essential to get this.● Testing the market is also critical. Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  26. 26. Getting others to believe in you● Evangelising about your technology. – There are probably few people who will get either your vision or the capability of your technology better than you. – Your challenge is to explain it in sufficiently simple terms to excite people about what it is, what it can do and the value in it.● OK – so how do you really do this? Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  27. 27. A believable storyA succinct message, elevator pitch, or whatever you want to call it isimportant. If that gets people interested then you can expand on the description. Enthusiasm and Clarity are crucial. Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  28. 28. Testing the pitch Where? To Whom?
  29. 29. Networking● How many Networking groups are there in Cambridge?● General X21 Clean Tech X5 Entrepreneurs X5 Software + Apps Mobile & Wireless Social Enterprise X1 X2 X12 Women X5 Life Science X1 Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  30. 30. Networking● How many have you been to? – Go to find out what networking is all about – You have to work out how to find contacts and make relationships● Contrary to popular opinion effective Networking takes time and requires trust Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  31. 31. Networking working the room● WHY are you there?● What is the focus of networking?● How do you build trust? – Most people dont know the answer to this!● How long will it take to get a lead from Networking? Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  32. 32. Networking the long term● Selecting the right groups for you – Number of contacts versus quality – Referrers – Finding the best leads Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  33. 33. IPR or Time to Market? A different viewpoint
  34. 34. Everybody wants Patents● This is an generally accepted view from Academia, Investors, Industry Partners.● WHY? – Protection from competition – Something Tangible to “own” at the point of failure – Kudos of filing a patent● WHY Protect, does it actually help the commercialisation efforts? – Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  35. 35. Everybody want Patents (2)● Patents are of little value if you cant sell the technology● Patents are of NO tangible value if you dont have funds to protect them● Patents come into their own when (if) you are challenged for infringement of someone elses patents – then a patent is a component for negotiations Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  36. 36. The Importance of a TeamWhy outsiders believe in a Team more readily than an individual
  37. 37. The Importance of a Team● Understand your own strengths and weaknesses● Understand your position in a business – Are you a cornerstone? – Are you the Visionary? – Are you the Delivery specialist? – Are you the Financial specialist? Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  38. 38. Famous Partnerships ● Hewlett Packard ● William (Bill) Redington Hewlett ● Dave Packard ● Founded: 1939 ● Employees: 349,600 ● Revenue: 127,24 B$ ● Total Assets: 129,51 B$ Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  39. 39. Famous Partnerships ● Microsoft ● Bill Gates ● Paul Allen ● Founded: 1975 ● Employees: 92,000 ● Profit: 23,15 B$ ● Total Assets: 108,07 B$ Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  40. 40. Famous Partnerships ● Apple Inc. ● Steve Jobs ● Steve Wozniak ● Founded: 1976 ● Employees: 60,400 ● Profit: 25.922 B$ ● Total Assets: 116,371 B$ Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  41. 41. Famous Partnerships ● Oracle ● Larry Ellison ● Bob Minor ● Ed Oates ● Founded: 1977 ● Employees: 111,297 ● Revenue: 35.6 B$ ● Total Assets: 73.5 B$ ● Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  42. 42. Famous Partnerships ● Adobe Systems ● John Warnock ● Charles Geschke ● Founded: 1982 ● Employees: 9,117 ● Profit: 3.8 B$ ● Total Assets: 8.141 B$ ● Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  43. 43. Famous Partnerships ● Yahoo ● David Filo ● Jerry Yang ● Founded: 1995 ● Employees: 14,100 ● Revenue: 4.98 B$ ● Total Assets: 14,78 B$ Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  44. 44. Famous Partnerships ● Google ● Larry Page ● Sergey Brin ● Founded: 1998 ● Employees: 32,467 ● Profit: 9.737 B$ ● Total Assets: 72,574 B$ Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  45. 45. The Innovation take Research to Market
  46. 46. The next session● Business Modelling● Building an investment proposition / Funding from scratch● Marketing your company Cambridge University Transferable Skills
  47. 47. Individual follow upsTIA will take interested researchers through the whole process
  48. 48. Thank youTalk to us about commercialising your research