Commercialization ecosystem

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What is your Market Validation Plan?

This post is by Associate Peter Hanschke, an Ottawa-based product management specialist. Peter’s post is part of our continuing series about the ecosystem necessary to bring technology to market. We welcome your comments.

By Peter Hanschke

Here’s the situation: Your development team is busy creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You have people off in all directions trying to secure some funding. But do you have a Market Validation Plan? Furthermore, are you executing this plan along with all the other activities? In other words, is this an activity that you are currently performing?

As the name suggests, a Market Validation Plan (another MVP for those who like TLAs) is about reaching out to your target market to determine whether:

  • The market likes your product or product concept
  • The market is willing to buy your product when you have it ready

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Words of wisdom: Some things change with time, others don’t

This is the ninth article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

There is a German proverb that states, “An old error is always more popular than a new truth.”

This is often evident in the business of getting technology to market, particularly among nascent entrepreneurs and startup management teams who are coming into the process of commercialization well-versed in the engineering of a product but not so much in the fundamentals of business planning, customer engagement and market development.

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Who is the custodian and guardian of Intellectual Property in your firm?

As part of our ongoing series examining the ecosystem necessary to bring technology to market, we asked David French, a senior Canadian patent attorney with 35 years of experience, to discuss the importance to a company of protecting its IP and how creating the position of “IP Coordinator” can facilitate the process. This is the second of David’s commentaries and we welcome your comments.

By David French

In my previous post, I addressed the importance of a company’s intellectual property and how it can contribute to the bottom line, negatively or positively. In this post, I address the issue of how intellectual property is being managed within your organization.

Who in your organization knows or is able to understand all of the issues and requirements in order to ensure that you have good IP hygiene? Frankly, many companies just assume their lawyer is going to look after these issues. Well, your lawyer may provide advice in the boardroom, or possibly even in a reporting letter, as to many of the things you should do in order to keep your intellectual property regime in order. But who will remember all of this?

This is where the concept of an Intellectual Property Coordinator becomes important.

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Words of wisdom: What can you learn from a thunder lizard?

This is the eighth article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

“A startup is ultimately … not just about whether an idea or a product works, it is about whether or not you can create a business around it. Whether or not the ecosystem will support it, the customers will buy it, if the channels will support it, and if the manufacturers will actually create it. And because of that, we need to be able to test all these different facets of our business model, and do so quickly.”

This comes from someone Forbes calls “the most powerful woman in startups,” Ann Miura-Ko, co-founding partner with FLOODGATE. In October, she gave a lecture at Stanford University titled “Funding Thunder Lizard Entrepreneurs,” which is filled with so much insight we were tempted to just transcribe the whole damned thing and offer it up as a blog post of its own. However, her talk is available as a conveniently indexed webcast.

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What your business can learn from Chilean wine

This is the next contribution to this blog by Associate Phil Newman, a London-based marketing and commercialization strategist for technology companies. Phil’s post is part of our continuing series about the ecosystem necessary to bring technology to market. We welcome your comments.

By Phil Newman

Yield management involves the strategic control of inventory to sell it to the right customer at the right time for the right price. Book your flight to New York two days before you’re due to fly and you’ll get the idea of purchasing at the top end. Rather than considering late booking as a negative, why not apply airline pricing to your business to create demand among early buyers, or early adopters?

Airline pricing is an art that has helped airlines grow revenues and price their services to align with seasonal shifts, Icelandic volcanoes and the vagaries of economic downturns. Robert Crandall, former chairman and CEO of American Airlines, gave yield management its name and defined it as “the single most important technical development in transportation management since we entered deregulation.”

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