Where is our blog going next?

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By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

Over the past six months since we launched our new blog, our Commercialization Ecosystem series explored what works, what doesn’t and what must change to get technology to market. We featured the perspectives of dozens of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers from across North America and the U.K. Your feedback was outstanding and your support of this approach drove us to easily beat almost every traffic objective we set for the blog.

So, what’s next?

Starting next week, we will begin several new series that will follow the real-world adventures of startups, technology executives and established tech companies battling for market share. We will shed light on what has worked, what hasn’t, and what lessons have been learned along the way.

In doing so, we will focus on several specific technology ventures and share with you their journeys, successes and, yes, even failures.

It isn’t our intention to showcase the successes of our clients, although that may happen from time to time. In fact, we have specifically been looking for compelling and insightful stories in which we have not had a part. However, those individuals and organizations that we have selected to participate share our general philosophies about what it takes to shorten time to market, provide the market with a viable product that serves a clear need and use marketing as a strategic activity to drive the entire process of commercialization.

Technology Marketing 101

Our first series, with a new installment every four or five weeks, will feature anecdotal stories about how a successful marketing program was developed, executed and measured.

We will feature startups, young companies and well-established companies that were strategic about their marketing, achieved success because of it, and can prove it through metrics, revenue and/or customer feedback. It doesn’t matter what mix of tactics they used or what sector they are in. What matters is that they had a clearly articulated strategy, that they executed across a mix of tactics, and that they had results on which we can reflect.

A startup’s story

You may be familiar with reality-based television shows such as American Pickers, Deadliest Catch or Ax Men. Well, this will be our take on a reality show, in blog form. We will feature the evolving stories of several different startups from the U.S., Britain and Canada as they work to bring their technology to market and avoid becoming yet another flash in the pan that failed to turn a great idea into a viable business.

Once a month we will check in with each startup to explore its highs, its lows, its successes and how it has addressed key challenges to come this far. We will cover everything from product development and market validation, to financing, HR, customer acquisition and building out the management team.

Two of these startups will be Commentair Technologies, from Ottawa Canada, and Screenreach Interactive, based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East.

Commentair is a developing a wireless technology fans can use at sports venues to receive the same real-time commentary as fans watching television at home, a wireless technology that also creates a platform for targeted advertising. We will explore how founders Katie and Luke Hrycak have forged ahead to validate their idea, develop a prototype and engage with potential customers despite having no engineering experience and having to bootstrap the business around their day jobs.

Screenreach’s flagship product, Screach, is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. The idea, and founder Paul Rawlings, are graduates of U.K. startup accelerator program The Difference Engine. Screenreach has already secured two rounds of financing and debuted its product at a major industry tradeshow. We will explore how it is dealing with the challenges of growing its team, managing sales and developing new products.

Our hope is that we will provide valuable insight and practical advice from the trenches that will continue to inspire and inform our readers.

(While we start our series looking at the experiences of startups, Ottawa’s own Wendy Mayhew today launches her video series, Idea2Delivery, which follows real companies through the startup and launch process. The series is intended to be a how-to guide for budding entrepreneurs.)

Does your business have a good marketing story to share? Are you interested in sharing your startup’s story, warts and all? If so, we would like to hear from you.

Image: Singularity Weblog

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