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How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate
by Andrew Hargadon
Harvard Business School Press, 2003

The raw materials for the next breakthrough technology may already be here, but they are certainly not in a nice box with a big label, a plastic window, and assembly instructions. Those technologies do exist, but we see them coming for decades before they hit the market: the integrated cellphone/PDA/camera/MP3 player, the affordable flat-screen television, the downloadable movie, the flying car. No, the raw materials for breakthrough technologies will come in unexpected forms -- the people, the ideas, and the objects will come dressed in other uses, other meanings, and other relationships.

Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology
by Henry William Chesbrough
Harvard Business School Press, 2003

The Palo Alto Research Center's inability to capture value from its technology for Xerox has been debated at length. ...

These proffered accounts miss the root cause of PARC's problems. The research center was not mismanaged; rather, it was managed according to the best proactices of the leading industrial research laboratories. Nor were PARC's leaders ignorant; they were intelligent, reasonable people who were up to date on good R&D management practice. ...

If Xerox didn't fumble these spin-offs, then why did it allow them to leave? Although the specific answer varies with every spin-off company, the general answser is that Xerox saw little further potential for each technology within Xerox. Continuing to develop each technology was expensive and took money away from other new initiatives that might be more important to Xerox. When Xerox's research managers judged that a research project had little more to contribute to Xerox's fundamental knowledge or to its businesses, they cut off further funding.

In other words, having a great idea is not enough:

> articulate the value proposition
> identify a market segment
> define the structure of the firm's value chain
> estimate the cost structure and margin
> describe the position of the firm within the value network
> formulate the competitive strategy of the offering

Definitions

Start-up? Seed Capital? Ideation?

Funding Post's Venture Capital Glossary

History

Historical Perspectives on Invention and Creativity (.pdf)

Value Chain

inventions

American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

Guidance, Tools & Manuals

information and ideas

Innovation Watch

Innovation Watch's list of weblogs

ideas incubator

iWG (iWORLD Group)

interview with Andreas W. Gerdes, iWG founder

The Ideas Incubator
Interactive Information Institute (I-Cubed)
RMIT University, Australia

encourages students, staff, alumni and industry partners to develop innovative and creative research in the areas of multimedia, information technology, and communication and grow these ideas to the proof-of-concept sta

InnoCentive

Web-based community matching top scientists to relevant R&D challenges facing leading companies from around the globe. We provide a powerful online forum enabling major companies to reward scientific innovation through financial incentives.

technology transfer

Association of University Technology Managers

AUTM is a nonprofit association with membership of more than 3,200 technology managers and business executives who manage intellectual property-one of the most active growth sectors of the U.S. economy. AUTM's members represent over 300 universities, research institutions, teaching hospitals and a similar number of companies and government organizations.

A Review of Best Practices in University Technology Licensing Offices
by Michael F. Allan
The Journal of the Association of University Technology Managers, 2001

Many methods and modes of operation in the technology licensing office of major universities are similar. Reputation of the institution and quality of the faculty are important factors in the effectiveness, by any measure, of the technology licensing office. Small but important distinctions have been observed from one organization to another. Each characteristic must be considered in the macro- and microenvironments in which the TLO functions. Together, these conclusions provide the basis for recommendations for new and existing TLOs to consider.

USPTO forms

National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC)

The NTTC offers American businesses what they need to remain on the cutting edge of innovation: access to the technologies, facililities and world-class researchers within the federal laboratories and universities. The public-private alliances helps U.S. industry regain its historical leadership in the highly competitive world marketplace of high technology. The Internet, biomedicine, laptop computers, supermarket barcode scanners and life saving drugs are just some of the everyday products that originated in federal laboratories or universities. Yet without industry developers, such ideas would remain on laboratory shelves. The United States is unique in having a wealth of publicly funded research together with an entrepreneurial economy. The NTTC bridges these two sectors.

The Green Book: Federal Technology Transfer Legislation and Policy

Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer - Technologies Available for Licensing

iBridge Network

The iBridge™ Network increases access to innovations by providing a platform for researchers to share their discoveries, research methods, and findings to more effectively disseminate and license the outputs of early-stage research. Use the Search Option below to find research projects by keyword within an institution or within the entire iBridge™ Network.

NIH Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)

The NIH Office of Technology Transfer evaluates, protects, monitors, and manages the wide range of NIH and FDA discoveries, inventions, and other intellectual property as mandated by the Federal Technology Transfer Act and related legislation.

To accomplish its mission, OTT oversees patent prosecution and negotiates and monitors licensing agreements. OTT performs similar functions for patenting and licensing activities for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), another component of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Other major functions within OTT include the development of technology transfer policies for NIH and with the other two major research components of HHS (FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]) and the implementation of decisions by the Technology Transfer Policy Board.

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the pitch

The art of the demo
by Michael Rogers
MSNBC.com, March 5, 2006

Bill Gates passes away and at the pearly gates St. Peter tells him that he can choose between going to Heaven or Hell. Gates asks if he can see them both before he decides and St. Peter agrees. First he shows Gates a glimpse of Heaven: a bland, boring suburb of identical tract houses and white-bread inhabitants. Then Hell: an incredible hackers’ paradise equipped with the latest high-speed computers, soda and chip machines at every corner and the hottest software available for free. Gates says, it sounds odd, but I think I’ll take Hell. St. Peter snaps his fingers and suddenly Gates is surrounded by fire and brimstone and a little demon is poking him with a pitchfork. “Wait a minute,” Gates shouts, “where are all the computers?” The little demon looks puzzled for a moment and then smiles. “Ah,” he says, “you must have seen our demo.”

An Investor's 'Gong Show' for Billion-Dollar Dreamers
by Gary Rivlin
NY Times, July 5, 2004

A 33-year-old engineer from Salt Lake City, promoting a company that would mass-produce flying cars with retractable wings, was among the lucky finalists in the "Pitch Tim Draper on Your Billion Dollar Idea" contest, held Wednesday in the offices of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. ...

There was something decidedly "Gong Show" about the two hours Timothy C. Draper spent at his desk listening to a steady stream of entrepreneurs from as far away as Russia and France trying to wow him with their ideas.

Earlier in the week, each of the 10 contestants - Mr. Draper's term - had been sent a headset and the requisite software to link via the Internet to Mr. Draper's computer. Every 5 to 10 minutes, a new talking head roughly the size of a baseball card appeared on his computer screen.

FundingPost's Pitching Across America

A panel of over 100 Venture Capital and Angel Investors will act as “judges” in this competition, read your Company's online profile, and rate it from 1 – 10 (10 being the best possible score)

Elevator Pitch Competition
New Venture Championship
Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Oregon

Pitch person will introduce themselves and the clock will start immediately with a hard-stop at one-minute. Student must stay on the stage during pitch. ...

Prizes
$1000 First Place
$500 (2) Cash prizes

local: right here in Buffalo!
Investor Panel Grills Startups Hungry for Venture Capital

Virmatics LLC found out Monday it will receive $750,000 from the National Human Genome Research Institute to continue its research on molecular cloning and data management. The very next day, company executives were in front of venture capitalists doing practice pitches on their company in an effort to secure an additional $1 million.

"This is a living document," said Yangzhou Wang, co-founder of the company, who explained that despite the new funding, the pitch presentation is continuously refined and changed to do whatever it takes to bring in additional funding. ...

It's never easy to ask someone for money, especially in the post dot-com era when capitalists are leery of just about everything. Virmatics was among 12 young firms that had the opportunity this week to hone their presentation skills and their ask pitch before a willing group of investors, while receiving constructive criticism and advice that could help them in the future.

The workshop, sponsored by BuffLink, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Rand Capital and First Wave Technologies, was designed to show the entrepreneurs what they will face in the real world VC search.

Pitch Tim Draper on Your Billion-Dollar Idea!
by Tim Draper
Draper Fisher Jurvetson, October 2, 2003

I have really enjoyed the incoming ideas and pitches coming in to AlwaysOn. Keep them coming! Today I want to take your ideas to the next level.

My VC fund, Draper Fisgher Jurvetson is holding a contest, called 'Pitch Tim Draper on Your Billion-Dollar Idea', strating with this blog entry, where I will pick the ten best billion-dollar-ideas AO members pitch to me in a five-minute elevator format, one-on-one, face-to-face from anywhere in the World, using the video communications service: http://www.VidiTel.com.

Pitch Tim Draper on Your Billion-Dollar Idea
Contest II: The Return of the Blog

by Tim Draper
Draper Fisher Jurvetson, May 18, 2004

At the end of 2003, I invited entrepreneurs from all over the world to post their ideas to my AlwaysOn blog. I then selected 10 entries from over 110 postings, and these winning entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to me face-to-face, using VidiTel's videoconferencing.

It was a truly international experience. I had the pleasure of meeting entrepreneurs from Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and from Sacramento, California, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Mountain View, California. The broad spectrum of ideas and personalities was quite impressive.

We followed up with a handful of the entrepreneurs, and we even went all the way with one company: stay tuned for a future announcement. The contest was such a success and so much fun that I have decided to run it again.

DEMO@15

Right there, in your hands, 70 of the world's most promising new technologies within moments of coming to market. You get the first shot at investment or deployment. This is what a DEMO conference is all about. This is why executives, analysts, VCs and journalists come back time and again. To see. To touch. To harvest. DEMO@15! marks 15 years of technology in bloom. In that time, 1,500 companies have launched technologies live on our stage, a few have launched revolutions.

If you click Apply to Launch, up will pop their application form. Look at what it asks for:

Product Name:
Product Description: (50 word description of product you intend to launch at a DEMO conference)
Company background:
Market Opportunity: (size of market, opportunity for success)
Competitors:

Sounds like an assignment for MBA 600 <grin>. In fact, MBA 604 will help you make the digital media assets (logo, web site, videos, slide shows, posters, brochures, etc.) that you would take to such an event as Demo@15 in order to impress the analysts, venture capitalists, and journalists.

Learn more from those folks who blogged Demo.

Six Minutes to Stand Out
by Daniel Terdiman
Wired News, February 15, 2005

If you're a top executive at one of the 75 companies demonstrating technology at the Demo conference here, you've no doubt spent hours in recent weeks perfecting your pitch.

That's because the companies whose new technology is on display at this influential conference get just six minutes to make their case to an audience of hundreds of journalists, investors and fellow technologists. So one by one, the companies take the stage, do their presentation and scurry off. And given how little room there is for error, six minutes never seemed so fast.

At the 15th DEMO conference, 75 companies are on hand to unveil new technologies to an audience of hundreds of journalists, technologists and, most important, investors. They get only six minutes each to make their pitch. VBK's virtual keyboard projects a laser-based keyboard from a PDA or smartphone onto any flat surface.

Still, a number of companies managed to show off some impressive technologies at Monday morning's first session, despite a series of glitches that cost at least one company the internet connection it needed to complete its presentation.

Fast-Moving Tech at Demo
by Daniel Terdiman
Wired News, February 16, 2005

At the Demo conference here, where 75 technology companies are on hand to show off their latest products and services in succinct, six-minute demonstrations, those that incorporate a little color are the ones that get the best audience reaction.

Unfortunately, the audience of several hundred journalists, investors and technologists may not always be able to distinguish between cheesy presentations and hot technology. Thus, three of the best-received demonstrations of the conference all used frantic humor as a lure. Openwave Systems boasted "Phoneman," a spokesman with a superhero costume and a large P on his forehead. Homestead Technologies had two executives singing about the company's product to the tune of "American Pie," and Serious Magic's CEO flaunted the show's no PowerPoint rule in a comedy sketch promoting its PowerPoint competitor. In each case, the audience ate it up.

You can tell we're still in the transition period when it is a rule rather than a given.

International CES - Show Floor Buzz - Fact Sheet's product categories

The International CES photo library shows you a cross-section of the people, the products, and the high-energy show floor.

Behind the magic curtain
by Mike Evangelist
The Guardian, January 5, 2006

Next week Steve Jobs of Apple will grab media attention with another simple-looking stage show. Mike Evangelist tells the insider secrets of his gruelling preparation.

The 2005 New York Venture Summit

Uniting: Venture Capital & Innovation

The premier venture capital conference for venture capitalists, angel investors, executives of early stage and emerging growth companies, incubators, investment bankers, successful entrepreneurs, premier service providers and industry leaders.

Whether your company is seeking early stage funding, follow on funding, or exposure; or you are an investor seeking new investment opportunities, The New York Venture Summit is the event to attend.

youngStartup

Starting any company is an extremely difficult task. To succeed, you must be able to produce results, have a solid business model and build the right relationships.

Whether you are an investor or startup, youngStartup Ventures is your ideal partner. Through our unique business filtering process we provide investors with a first look at pre-screened high quality deal flow, analytical services as well as time saving mechanisms. New business ventures gain access to value added partners, capital, and exposure they would otherwise find challenging to tap.

The SmartStart Venture Forum.

The SmartStart Venture Forum will unite emerging technology-related companies, investors and professional service providers from across upstate New York. Two days of presentations, seminars and networking will promote and enhance the success of new ventures, emerging businesses, and the growth of entrepreneurship.

Participants will include venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs, investment bankers, commercial bankers, private lenders, pension fund managers, business brokers, attorneys, accountants and other service providers. Technology companies, media and analysts will have a rare opportunity to meet the people, see the products and learn about the technologies that will shape the market in the years ahead.

A select group of entrepreneurs will be given an opportunity to exhibit and present their business plans to the investment community. ...

Finalists will describe their business opportunity in a ten-minute presentation which should describe the company’s business investment opportunity, growth and exit strategy in power point format.

2006 Venture Forum

National Association of Seed and Venture Funds - their 2006 annual conference will be in Rochester this coming September

There's Gold, But You Gotta Dig
by Julie H. Case
Wired News, October 19, 2001

What could be more American than 12 startups, 12 venture capitalists and one hour to make a love connection? Make your pitch, sink or swim, live or die, all by the laws of the free-market jungle. ...

Luckily, there's no music, and, in theory, no one loses his seat after a round. Four-and-a-half minutes into each presentation the host calls "30 seconds," then "10 seconds ... OK, switch." The presenters stand up, shove a business card or business plan in front of the VC and move to the right.

For VCs it's quick, content-rich and relatively painless. It forces entrepreneurs to hone their message for a quick pitch. Interesting companies get a second chance; wallflowers go home and work on repositioning.

Angel Capital Education Foundation (ACEF)

devoted to education of angel investors and to collecting and disseminating data and information on angel investors and angel investing groups.

Inc.com's Directory of Angel-Investor Networks

Angels In America
by Jim Melloan
Inc. Magazine, July 2005

Angel investors are changing. Here's what they're looking for, how they operate, and (because the devil is in the exit strategy) what they expect for their money.

A select sampling of angel investment sources.

Life Science Angels | Portfolio Companies

Founded in 2004 by senior life science executives and experienced angel investors as a vehicle to bring angel capital to worthy early stage biotech and medical device companies.  Formally launched in January 2005 with backing of 15 industry sponsors, LSA follows a rigorous due diligence process before presenting investment opportunites to its membership.  LSA also works with select angel groups, venture capitalists and outside investors to syndicate opportunities requiring larger investments.

list of angel and venture capital firms for (mostly) women only

A Network of Her Own
by D.M. Osborne
Inc. Magazine, Sept 2000

Women who are entrepreneurs have always found it tougher to raise money than their male counterparts have. New kinds of support and a new breed of investor are starting to level the playing field.

Angel Investor News

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Trade Shows

World's Best Technologies Showcase

Produced in cooperation with The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer

TSNN.com - the ultimate tradeshow resource

Conferenza: Event Intelligence

The most comprehensive source of information about technology conferences and trade shows.

Conferenza is the leading independent source of news and perspective about hi-tech events. We provide in-depth reports and penetrating analysis from a wide variety of executive conferences, trade shows, and other industry events.

Maximize Your Trade Show Investment With E-Mail
by Karen Gedney
ClickZ, March 23, 2005

"Build it and they will come" doesn't necessarily apply to your trade show booth.

In her book "Trade Show and Event Marketing," Ruth P. Stevens writes, "Trade show marketers often get so preoccupied with designing and building their booths, they can forget to concentrate on driving qualified traffic."

Given that trade shows represent 18.6 percent of the typical business-to-business (B2B) marketing budget, according to a 2003 Business Marketing Association poll, investing in targeted pre- and post-show promotions should be a priority.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)

a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering research-based knowledge tools. Founded in 1978 as the Trade Show Bureau, CEIR has become the foremost source of research, information and communication on exhibitions.

TradeshowBiz.com

This site is the most reliable source of information linking the tradeshow, convention and meeting & incentive travel industries, giving you a greater range of information than any other source.

MILIA

MILIA

MILIA is the leading global forum for owners, buyers and distributors of digital content and new interactive technologies. MILIA provides a unique international context for media & entertainment content decision-makers to get together and generate new business with professionals representing a wide range of digital platforms. Also, MILIA’s world renowned conferences, provide an unparalleled opportunity to discover the latest business, technological and creative trends in Digital Convergence, Interactive TV, Broadband and Mobile entertainment.

technical manual for the construction of your stand (preparing for MBA 604)

South by Southwest

The SXSW MUSIC AND MEDIA CONFERENCE (SXSW) showcases hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on fifty stages in downtown Austin. By day, conference registrants do business in the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center and partake of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature.

The SXSW INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL brings together uber-geeks and digital innovators from around the world for four days of keynote speeches, Trade Show, panels, parties and assorted evening fun. Now in its twelfth year, this is the event where the web's most creative minds share their ideas about how interactive technology will shape our future.

The SXSW FILM CONFERENCE AND FESTIVAL emphasizes on all aspects of the art and business of independent filmmaking. The Festival has gained international acclaim for the quality of its programming with a special focus on emerging talents who bask in being included in the company of the cinematic greats whose work is regularly presented.

marketing info -- exhibitor spaces, prices

SXSW's Torrent of Free Tunes
by Katie Dean
Wired News, March 08, 2005

Music fans don't have to be in Austin, Texas, to hear hundreds of new songs from the South by Southwest music festival.

For many years, SXSW, as it's known, has provided on its website a library of free MP3s of bands participating in the conference. This year, the festival is making it even easier to listen by providing a huge BitTorrent file (2.6 GB) of more than 750 songs. The songs can be downloaded for free using the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing application.

CeBIT

CeBIT - the world's leading event for information technology, telecommunications, software and services

With 6,207 exhibitors (52 percent from abroad) and a net display area of 309,000 square meters

CeBIT's Communications companies

CeBIT: Gadgets on Parade
Reuters
Wired, March 06, 2005

The north German town of Hanover will be the nerve center of the $2 trillion technology industry for the next two weeks, as the latest gadgets compete for the limelight at the annual fair.

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Booths and Posters

Depending on the size of the trade show or professional conference, marketing reps can talk to a lot of customers in a short time. The reps need to talk, of course, deliver their message. But they also need to listen.

At a larger show, the reps will be standing in a booth or in front of a display. At a smaller event, such as a professional conference, these marketing extravaganzas get toned down to a scale where they are known as "posters".

range of displays: Pinnacle's Portable Trade Show Displays and Custom-Printed Exhibit Booth Graphics

How to Make a Great Poster

Creating Poster Sessions

Presenting Poster Sessions

Communication Skills - making oral presentations

government agencies and NPOs

BuffLink

BuffLink's mission is to increase and accelerate the results from technology transfer and commercialization of cutting-edge research, leading to the successful creation of new enterprises, growth companies, and ultimately, to a critical mass of life science activities that make the Buffalo Niagara region a global competitor and hot-bed for innovation in the 21st century.

Who we are:
BuffLink, Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation founded in 2001 by private sector and university leaders to catalyze Buffalo Niagara's life sciences economy. Our Board of Directors is comprised of local business and university leaders who volunteer their time to lead this effort.

BuffLink is a mechanism, a community resource designed to increase entrepreneurial and business activity through the commercialization of institutional research. In addition, BuffLink serves many local researchers, entrepreneurs, existing life science businesses, and prospective businesses in finding key resources and support for growing their enterprise in Buffalo Niagara.

SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities Now Available for Technology Companies
BuffLink newsletter, April 2006

The Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs fund innovative R&D with strong commercialization potential. Small businesses in the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions have been awarded almost $30 million in the last two years. Local companies that have recently received awards include ...

Expats offer ideas for developing biotech here (soon hidden behind a paywall; request from me)
by David Robinson
Buffalo News, July 9, 2006

It's especially important for the region to lay the groundwork early on so that the advances coming out of the region's big investment in life sciences don't fall by the wayside because they got snarled in red tape and a drought of funding.

It's also the idea behind the efforts by UB and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise to build a network of about a dozen former Western New Yorkers with strong ties to the life sciences industry who can offer advice to local companies and maybe even open a few doors to potential investors.

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise

World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara (WTCBN)

an international business development organization that strengthens the competitive international position of companies in Upstate New York and Niagara, Ontario. Our commitment is to provide vital trade services and to support companies through our consulting practice, educational programs, and worldwide membership affiliation.

regional: WNY industrial development agencies and Empire Zones

Western Economic Diversification Canada

A department of the Government of Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) works to strengthen Western Canada's economy and advance the interests of the West in national economic policy.

Our programs and services support three strategic directions: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Communities.

Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA)

ESCWA promotes economic and social development through regional and subregional cooperation and integration and serves as the main general economic and social development forum within the United Nations system for the ESCWA region. It formulates and promotes development assistance activities and projects commensurate with the needs and priorities of the region and acts as an executing agency for relevant operational projects.

technology incubators

Technology incubators, aka technology parks, technology clusters, strive for win-win outcomes by bringing together in the same physical location:

R and D
prototyping
manufacturing
training
business development
financing institutions
standardization and calibration laboratories
testing and analytical facilities
industrial services and facilities

UB Technology Incubator

Emerging businesses face considerable challenges when bringing a new product or service to market. History shows that start-ups have a significantly higher success rate when they have an established partner to provide assistance.

The UB Technology Incubator, located in the Baird Research Park, supports the creation of new technology-based businesses by providing affordable business services to entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 1988, the program has assisted more than sixty tenants and graduates, boasting a 75 percent survival rate. Aggregate employment by those companies is 455 people, and annual revenues exceed $60 million.

The business incubation program provides assistance in four main areas:

1. Flexible rental terms for office and wet laboratory space
2. Administrative support services
3. General business assistance in the form of coaching, counseling, mentoring and networking
4. Access to UB resources, facilities and purchasing power

Delaware Biotechnology Institute

Delaware Technology Park

The Park is devoted to attracting established industries and providing an incubation and acceleration for start-ups in high-technology fields, specifically those in biotechnology, information technology and advanced materials. By clustering these businesses and providing networking access to services and resources, the Delaware Technology Park extends the reach of these businesses across the Mid-Atlantic region and around the world.

Hampton Roads Technology Incubator

Nurturing high-growth, high-tech businesses into profitable industry leaders. It promotes economic growth for southeastern Virginia by:

boosting the number of tech companies developing in or moving to the region;
administering programs that help entrepreneurs operate these companies successfully; and
facilitating access to and commercialization of technologies developed in the region's university, government and industrial labs.

Technologies available for commercialization

Idealab

Idealab's mission is to turn innovative ideas into successful technology businesses. Founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Bill Gross, Idealab has developed and evolved a process for maximizing the potential of its new businesses. Once an idea is prototyped, Idealab shares with its operating companies its market-tested knowledge, operational support and strategic guidance. Today, Idealab is focused on creating technology businesses based on proprietary technologies that enjoy high margins and have significant potential for sustainable, profitable growth.

In addition to capital, Idealab provides a full range of resources to infuse start-ups with the support they need to rapidly introduce innovative products and services. Resources include office space and the accompanying office services, development and technology, graphic design, marketing, competitive research, legal, accounting and business development support and services. In addition, Idealab provides advice on strategy, branding and corporate structure.

The Micro-Multinational
by Jason Pontin
Wired, July 2004

Venture capitalists now routinely demand that the companies they finance outsource what labor they can. Yogen Dalal, a partner at Mayfield, says more than half the companies he funds have offshore workers. The Valley even has a name for these startups: micro-multinationals. ...

Micro-multinationals turn inside out an organizational fad of the 1990s: the incubator. But whereas incubated startups divest some business functions to their investors, micro-multinationals purchase these functions from subcontractors. Incubators allow startups to concentrate on what economists call a "comparative advantage" - the thing that any economic entity does best and most cheaply. Alas, incubated startups were also at the mercy of their patrons' whims. Micro-multinationals, by contrast, control their own fortunes.

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the California model

Cal-(IT)2’s Research Program looks at the Internet as an integrated system with five layers:

The Materials and Devices

materials and devices critical to the new infrastructure (molecular materials; optical, wireless, and storage components; and micro-electro-mechanical devices)

Networked Infrastructure

digital wireless, broadband, network architecture, protocols and management, photonics, sensors, and storage

Interfaces and Software Systems

secure and scalable distributed systems software, mobile agents, knowledge management, data mining, and human-computer interfaces

Applications

core concerns related to California’s quality of life and represents large market segments of California’s economy poised to be transformed by the emerging Internet

Policy, Management, and Socioeconomic Evolution

understanding technology in the larger context of organizations and society, focusing on how the private sector and government can maximize the returns to society from technology investment

product development

ICO Products

a product design and manufacturing company. With years of experience, we have been delivering to our clients innovative products and cutting-edge technology. By working with our China division and manufacturing plant, we are able to help our clients on reducing development cost and cutting down manufacturing cost.

Inventor's Forum

This forum is dedicated for inventors to publish anything related to inventions, ideas, patents, prototyping, production, marketing, etc.

Advent Product Development

Entrepreneurs Only Network (international)

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Venture Capital

National Venture Capital Association's quick overview of venture capital.

State of the Venture Capital Market
by Ted Weissberg, President
Thomson Venture Economics, September 23, 2003

US Investment 1980-2002

US Venture Investing YTD 2003 by Stage

Venture Exits IPO’s and M&A’s By Year and Number of Exits

Venture Exits: IPO’s and M&A’s By Year and Value of Exits

Source: The MoneyTree Survey by
PricewaterhouseCoopers/NVCA/
Thomson Venture Economics,
VentureXpert database

PricewaterhouseCoopers/Thomson Venture Economics/NVCA
Moneytree Venture Capital Profiles - National Summary

Dow Jones' Venture One

VentureOne, the world's leading venture capital research firm, offers investors, service providers, and entrepreneurs the most comprehensive, accurate, and timely information on the venture capital industry.

Conferences

VentureWire’s Network Ventures
VentureOne Summit
VentureWire’s Wireless Ventures
VentureWire’s Enterprise Ventures
VentureWire’s Health Care Innovations
VentureWire’s Emerging Ventures
VentureWire’s Datacenter Ventures
VentureWire’s Consumer Technology Ventures
VentureWire’s Asian Ventures
VentureWire’s MicroVentures
Web-based Virtual Seminars

WNY Venture Capital

Here are the venture capital investments in our congressional districts:

26th Thomas M. Reynolds (R)
27th Brian Higgins (D)
28th Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D)

In short, there aren't any recently. What does that tell you? Compare Manhattan:

8th Jerry Nadler (D)

and Austin:

10th Lloyd Doggett (D)

and San Francisco:

8th Nancy Pelosi (D)

Regional Venture Capital

Western New York Venture Association
Western New York Technology Development Center
Toronto Venture Group
Rochester Venture Capital Group
Golden Horseshoe Venture Forum
National Association of Venture Forums
SmartStart Venture Forum

reading

$53.6-billion overhang
Red Herring, March 24, 2005

Once again, venture capitalists appear to have more money than they can spend.

The venture capital overhang, or money that has been promised to VCs but not yet spent, has reached $53.6 billion, according to a Dow Jones report released Thursday.

Most of the money, earmarked for startups but never delivered, comes from the frantic fundraising of the late 1990s followed by VC tight-fisting after the bubble. ...

VCs put $20.9 billion into more than 2,800 startups last year, according to Thomson Financial.

Spend a couple of days at a spa in Monterrey, California. It's by invitation only.

The Dynamics of Disruptions
Red Herring, May 2005

Every day thousands of entrepreneurs wake up with one goal in mind, displacing industry stalwarts. Through innovation, creativity, patents and sheer determination they aim to start the ripple that will sink the tanker. Since 1996, the Red Herring 100 has served as the place to look for these emerging leaders; Young companies that retain the capacity to not just disrupt existing markets, but create entirely new ones.

This year’s conference will revolve around the trends and companies transforming the technology marketplace, companies setting the agenda for technologies future. Is the FCC the only possible road block for the VoIP takeover? After years of nanotech promises, what can we expect from the billions of dollars invested? Who will cause the next Napster-like disruption?

For two days, we’ll showcase leading companies and provide rich discussion with experts from several different industry sectors to explore the future of technology, and the business behind it.

Ardesta's network of companies

One commonly used definition of a microsystem is an intelligent miniaturized system comprising sensing, processing, and/or actuating functions. These would normally combine two or more of the following: electrical, mechanical, optical, chemical, biological, magnetic, or other properties.

Our definition is a bit shorter.

We like the term "small tech" when referring to microsystems, MEMS, nanotechnologies and the like. They're super-miniaturized machines, so small their operation can't be seen by the naked eye. These machines sense or process information and react to it.

Funding Post -- a showcase for entrepreneurs to find investors who match their funding requirements.

vcaonline.com -- the leading B2B Internet-based marketplace for the venture capital and private equity industry.

Venture Capital Access Online (vcaonline.com) is a leading Internet-based marketplace for the venture capital and private equity industry. vcaonline.com provides online services and tools to entrepreneurs, investors and advisors/service providers worldwide. Our flagship product, VCPro Database, has become the most popular venture capital directory of its kind available today. We also offer valuable venture capital resources and timely industry news to entrepreneurs and professionals.

vFinance.com -- researches and validates well-known VC firms throughout America.

Financial services company that provides research, investment banking, brokerage and trading services to more than 10,000 corporate, institutional and private clients worldwide. The Company has offices in New York, San Jose, Houston, Boca Raton and 24 other cities nationwide. Its subsidiary, vFinance Investments, Inc., is a registered broker-dealer with the SEC and a member of the NASD.

http://www.vfinance.com, the Company's Web site, is a leading destination on the Internet for companies seeking capital, as well as institutional and high net-worth investors seeking dynamic high-growth companies. Each year, the site hosts more than one million visitors from over 90 countries. This audience creates a perpetual, global deal stream for vFinance's bricks-and-mortar financial service units and enables vFinance Investments' Research Department to identify emerging trends, market segments and pioneering firms.

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Venture Capital Pitches

Questions that a pitch to a VC should address
Chris Wand
Mobius Venture Capital

1) What Is Your Vision?

- What is your big vision?
- What problem are you solving and for whom?
- Where do you want to be in the future?

2) What Is Your Market Opportunity And How Big Is It?

- How big is the market opportunity you are pursuing and how fast is it growing?
- How established (or nascent) is the market?
- Do you have a credible claim on being one of the top two or three players in the market?

3) Describe Your Product/Service

- What is your product/service?
- How does it solve your customer’s problem?
- What is unique about your product/service?

4) Who Is Your Customer?

- Who are your existing customers?
- Who is your target customer?
- What defines an "ideal" customer prospect?
- Who actually writes you the check?
- Use specific customer examples where possible.

5) What Is Your Value Proposition?

- What is your value proposition to the customer?
- What kind of ROI can your customer expect by using buying your product/service?
- What pain are you eliminating?
- Are you selling vitamins, aspirin or antibiotics? (I.e. a luxury, a nice-to-have, or a need-to-have)

6) How Are You Selling?

- What does the sales process look like and how long is the sales cycle?
- How will you reach the target customer? What does it cost to "acquire" a customer?
- What is your sales, marketing and distribution strategy?
- What is the current sales pipeline?

7) How Do You Acquire Customers?

- What is your cost to acquire a customer?
- How will this acquisition cost change over time and why?
- What is the lifetime value of a customer?

8) Who Is Your Management Team?

- Who is the management team?
- What is their experience?
- What pieces are missing and what is the plan for filling them?

9) What Is Your Revenue Model?

- How do you make money?
- What is your revenue model?
- What is required to become profitable?

10) What Stage Of Development Are You At?

- What is your stage of development? Technology/product? Team? Financial metrics/revenue?
- What has been the progress to date (make reality and future clear)?
- What are your future milestones?

11) What Are Your Plans For Fund Raising?

- What funds have already been raised?
- How much money are you raising and at what valuation?
- How will the money be spent?
- How long will it last and where will the company "be" on its milestones progress at that time?
- How much additional funding do you anticipate raising & when?

12) Who Is Your Competition?

- Who is your existing & likely competition?
- Who is adjacent to you (in the market) that could enter your market (and compete) or could be a co-opted partner?
- What are their strengths/weaknesses?
- Why are you different?

13) What Partnerships Do You Have?

- Who are your key distribution and technology partners (current & future)?
- How dependent are you on these partners?

14) How Do You Fit With The Prospective Investor?

- How does this fit w/ the investor’s portfolio and expertise?
- What synergies, competition exist with the investor’s existing portfolio?

15) Other

- What assumptions are key to the success of the business?
- What "gotchas" could change the business overnight? New technologies, new market entrants, change in standards or regulations?
- What are your company’s weak links?

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Nuts and Bolts

Names

company / product names - learn more

How to Name a Business
by Joe Mancuso
CEO Clubs, 2004

incorporation

How much will it cost to incorporate your business?

Business Filings Incorporated

intellectual property

What part of your product / service needs to be protected? What's appropriate? Patent, trademark, service mark, domain name? What has already been patented that you'll have to license?

How do property rights, especially IP rights, pertain to your product / service as a risk factor?

domain names: WhoIs .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, and .us

register a domain name: AITDomains

Will you competitive advantage come from intellectual property secured (for 20 years) by a patent? Will you be able to use your IP as collateral?

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Search patents and trademarks

Example

When the splash screen for Adobe's Acrobat 6 holds the place on your screen while the software is loading, you can see a list of patent numbers. I chose one at random and searched for it at the USPTO: 5,634,064. If you read it -- and the others -- you will know exactly how Acrobat works.

Method and apparatus for viewing electronic documents

A reader for displaying an electronic document stored in a predetermined format and allowing articles of the document to be read in the direction of their content information flow. The reader includes a selector to select an article of the document to be read. A displayer displays a first portion of the article in a manner which promotes comfortable viewing, and a navigator permits the display of the next and remaining sequential portions of the article in content flow (or reverse content flow) order. Preferably, the displayer pans and zooms, as necessary, to position the article portion in an article viewing window. A method for viewing electronic documents on a digital computer includes the steps of storing in the memory of the digital computer an electronic document, selecting an article to be displayed on an output device of the digital computer in an article view, displaying at least a portion of the article in the article viewing mode on the output device, and using an input device of the digital computer to cause a display of additional portions of the article to be displayed on the output device in the article viewing mode. These additional portions of the article are determined, at least in part, by predefined article sections and section links of the document so that the thread of the article can be followed in forward and reverse directions.

US Patent 6,754,472, issued to Microsoft on June 22, 2004:

Method and apparatus for transmitting power and data using the human body

Methods and apparatus for distributing power and data to devices coupled to the human body are described. The human body is used as a conductive medium, e.g., a bus, over which power and/or data is distributed. Power is distributed by coupling a power source to the human body via a first set of electrodes. One or more device to be powered, e.g., peripheral devices, are also coupled to the human body via additional sets of electrodes. The devices may be, e.g., a speaker, display, watch, keyboard, etc. A pulsed DC signal or AC signal may be used as the power source. By using multiple power supply signals of differing frequencies, different devices can be selectively powered. Digital data and/or other information signals, e.g., audio signals, can be modulated on the power signal using frequency and/or amplitude modulation techniques.

EFF's Patent Busting Project

A coalition of lawyers, researchers and software experts formed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation will try to overturn 10 Internet and software-related patents that the group says are so sweeping they threaten innovation.

regulatory arbitrage

The Internet is a transnational communication medium. Once connected, there is little that a single country can do to prevent citizens from communicating with the rest of the world without drastically reducing the economic and intellectual value of the medium.

Connection to the Internet enables regulatory arbitrage by which persons can, in certain circumstances, arrange their affairs so that they evade domestic regulations by structuring their communications or transactions to take advantage of foreign regulatory regimes. Americans can gamble. Chinese can look at porn. Iranians can use blogs to mock their leaders. Kazaa can evade the RIAA. Its founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, then started Skype, which took 33% out of global long distance revenues in its first year.

Regulatory arbitrage reduces the policy flexibility of nations by making certain types of domestic rules difficult to enforce. Citizens with access to the Internet can send and receive anonymous messages regardless of national law; both censorship and information export restrictions become nearly impossible to enforce, although governments have it in their power to impose some impediments to ease of use.

global knowledge economy hub

Dubai Internet City, the world’s first free zone dedicated to the outsourcing industry

The Principality of Sealand

HavenCo: the free world just milliseconds away, a British company

Check out their rate sheet to see how much "freedom" costs.

Sealand on Fire - June 23, 2006

Do You really Want an Intranet?
by Steven Telleen

Many organizations fail to notice that intranets support and encourage a definite management and cultural style, one that may not be compatible with their incumbent managers. 

Scale that up to Internet-size:

Freedom Ship - City at Sea

Once you're connected to the Evernet, it may not matter so much where you live physically.

What about a ship that holds 100,000 people -- permanent residents, not tourists -- large enough for small planes to land and take off? It will slowly circle the globe every two years.

The Internet Under Siege (free reg req)
by Lawrence Lessig
Foreign Policy, November 2001

Who owns the Internet? Until recently, nobody. That's because, although the Internet was "Made in the U.S.A.," its unique design transformed it into a resource for innovation that anyone in the world could use. Today, however, courts and corporations are attempting to wall off portions of cyberspace. In so doing, they are destroying the Internet's potential to foster democracy and economic growth worldwide.

The Internet revolution has ended just as surprisingly as it began. None expected the explosion of creativity that the network produced; few expected that explosion to collapse as quickly and profoundly as it has. The phenomenon has the feel of a shooting star, flaring unannounced across the night sky, then disappearing just as unexpectedly. Under the guise of protecting private property, a series of new laws and regulations are dismantling the very architecture that made the Internet a framework for global innovation.

Is the Information Revolution Dead?
by W. Brian Arthur
Business 2.0, March 2002

Is the information economy going nowhere? Is its revolution over? In Silicon Valley, certainly, the prospects look bleak. But history suggests that such pessimism is misplaced -- that the information revolution's best days might actually lie ahead.

Here's a great example of what happened to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Blown to Bits (.zip file).

cat vs mouse

Step 1 - NY Times offers "free" online content

Counter-Step 1 - I stop buying the print version

Step 2 - NY Times runs space ads to generate revenue

Counter-Step 2 - I don't click on ads

Step 3 - NY Times requires "free" registration; sells email demographics to ad partners

Counter-Step 3 - I falsify my info; I get BugMeNot to do it for me.

BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times).

Is this ethical? Is this stealing? Is this common sense? Read the discussion:

BugMeNot.com Lets Users Circumvent Forced Registration

(Listed in reverse chronology. Go to bottom of page and read up.)

Is it a crime to steal what's already been stolen? If you steal a car from me and Jack steals it from you, from whom did Jack steal it? If you steal a car from me and give it to Jack, did Jack steal it? From whom?

Step 4 - NY Times puts the most popular writing behind a paywall.

TimesSelect is a new service from The New York Times providing exclusive online access to Op-Ed columnists, The Times Archive and more. If you are a subscriber to The New York Times newspaper, TimesSelect is available for free (find out more). If you are not a newspaper subscriber, TimesSelect is available for less than 14 cents a day.

Counter-Step 4 - I route around the damage by not linking to NY Times articles, thus leaving them out of the online conversation and reducing the influence of the NY Times.

NY Times Paywall Plateaus
Techdirt, June 19, 2006

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Issues

Software patents?

Most patents are utility patents, that is, "things". Other broad categories are agriculture patents, biotech sequence patents, and software patents.

Software is an algorithm. Until ten years ago, you couldn't patent a software algorithm. Now you can, as long as it does work for you. Then it's actually the work that you're patenting.

Bitlaw's Why Protect Software Through Patents, History of Software Patents, and Software Is Now Patentable

Government Regulation

 

Fear

 

globalization

globalization | virtual state | jurisdiction over behavior (laws and courts)

 

ethics

ethics: stealing bits

copyrights and patents, intellectual property

trusted?

whose jobs? barriers to entry?

jurisdiction

telecommunications deregulation

ethics, whose info?

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Web Resources

Startup Zone (free reg req)

- if you were looking for a job in your company ...

- search the start-up list

A one-stop connection to the latest technology start-up companies for those seeking job, investment opportunities, partnership, acquisition, or latest start-up information.

Wall Street Journal's StartupJournal.com

Advice, businesses and franchises for sale and a startup toolkit.

Venture capital firm search

Identify the venture capital firms most likely to fund your business plan or recommend you to one of their hot portfolio companies.

Test Your Motivation For Starting a Company
by Joseph R. Mancuso

discussion: CEO Club's Motivational Profile Of The Entrepreneur

Test Your Aptitude For Entrepreneurship
by Joseph R. Mancuso

Entrepreneur.com's calculators

Red Herring 100 Winners (free reg req)

Over the last few months, Red Herring editors have spent hundreds of hours talking with experts and carefully examining over 600 private global companies' business models, financials, and management teams.

more start-up resources

How Much Money Do You Need?
by Marcie Geffner
Business Start-Ups, April 2000

You need money to start a new business--but how much exactly? Here are eight easy ways to do the math.

Entrepreneur's Business Start-Ups Magazine

Articles from past issues give lots of advice for starting a business.

Answers to Your Start-Up Legal Questions
by Keith Lowe
February 03, 2003

Don't let red tape boggle your mind. Here's how to handle some common legal dilemmas.

BizMiner.com - $$ but gives you ideas about what to be looking for and thinking about

Formulate and achieve your business goals with the help of our industry analysis. We utilize data from 18 million businesses to report on local and national industry trends, including detail on startups, small businesses, mature companies and franchises.

12 Hot Startups
Business 2.0, February 2004

Hatched during the bust, these promising companies will be the first to ride the rebound. Remember: You read about them here first.

Field of Dreams
Business 2.0, April 2004

With capital flowing and deep technological change afoot, it's the best time in years to pitch a new business. Helped by a panel of top VCs, we found nine great business opportunities just waiting for the right entrepreneur.

Start-ups follow their dreams, lending climate
Business Direct Weekly

As national economists down to individual investors watch for economic rebound, some don't need numbers to confirm that this is the right time to start their own business.

Europe's Startups Are Hungry for Capital
BusinessWeek Online, April 28, 2003

Gun-shy from the tech collapse and equity meltdown, Europe's nascent venture-capital community, which took off during the late 1990s, is sharply retrenching.

E-Commerce Times: The Seven Deadly Sins of E-Commerce

The road to successful e-commerce can be riddled with pitfalls. Armed with the proper knowledge, you can avoid the costly mistakes that have put many online merchants out of business.

Why We Need Startups
Forbes.com, July 21, 2003

America needs startup companies. ... They are our economy's secret sauce, the only thing that distinguishes the still-dynamic U.S. economy from those of sclerotic Europe and Japan.

How-To
Inc.com

Collection of articles on a wide range of topics of interest to those starting/running a small business. Organized into 17 categories, including e-commerce, Internet in business, ethics, information technology, leadership and strategy.

Borrowing Binge
Red Herring, January 6, 2003

Venture investors start lending a hand, and startups take on debt.

Women Startups Exceed Those by Men
Sacramento Business Journal, November 11, 2003

Buffeted by a challenging economy, an uncertain job market and a heightened focus on home and family post Sept. 11, a new poll shows that more women are turning to self-employment.

Startups Seek to Take Stock
San Francisco Business Times, May 19, 2003

With angel investors and VCs skittish about financing even seemingly sure bets, amassing seed funds to launch a company as an unknown entrepreneur is literally a one-in-a-thousand shot.

Startups Play Waiting Game for Next Round
Silicon Valley Biz Ink, April 18, 2003

A new study ... shows not only is venture capital funding at a seven-year low, the length of time a startup has to wait between funding rounds has more than doubled in the past three years.

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by Douglas Anderson
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