Startup Process

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  • Dynamic R&D for the industry shifting to the entrepreneurial sector?
    • Development, Manufacturing, and Distribution – do any require large partners?
  • Are multiple products/services possible with technology?
  • Does using the technology require a paradigm shift? Or provide an incremental improvement? Satisfy a low-end underserved market?
  • Is the potential benefit in line with the anticipated costs?
  • Do the start-up scenario realities match desires of the inventors?
  • Is there sufficient IP protection and access?
  • Are there economic, social, political, and technology context issues that must be considered?


With Primary and secondary research:

  • Verify industry dynamics
  • Determine if technology development (proof-of-principle) sufficient to demonstrate solution to identified customer problem
  • Strategically define lead product/service from multiple alternatives
  • Create product development plan, estimates
  • Verify competitive advantages
  • Estimate if needed development resources appropriate for desired return
  • Reassess IP protection and access

Business Formation - Plan

  • Revisions staged with company growth
    • Starting with proposed activities moving into implementation
  • “Blueprint or Playbook” for the team
    • Should be formulated/influences by the team
    • Act of writing facilitates comprehensive planning by identifying gaps
      • Often highlights initially the need for business talent on the team
  • Multiple Audience
    • Self/team
    • Investors/granting agencies
      • Provides depth to investment/funding solicitations
    • Prospective employees

Business Formation - People

  • Minimally need business AND technical expertise
    • Unlikely to be one person
    • Relevant experience is highly valued
    • Unlikely for faculty member to take an operational role in the start-up
  • Staged additions to Team
    • Dependent on company development status
  • “Chemistry” (compatibility) is critical
  • Shared vision critical
    • Helps relieve inventor concerns over “giving up control”

Business Formation - Funding

Avoid Pitching the Right Deal to the Wrong Investor

  • Determine the needs of start-up based on Milestone Achievement
  • Profile funding source requirements, expectations, and limitations
    • All sources have “strings attached”
  • Formulate a deliberate strategy for seeking funding based upon BOTH of the above
  • Prepared appropriate materials for soliciting funding
    • Be prepared for next steps (e.g. due diligence)