Commercialization 101: Start with the Problem

Thirty years ago, research by Professor Roger Calantone of Michigan State University suggested that new products fail because too little attention has been paid to real needs. In addition, he opined that the most common failures are with products driven by technology rather than what the customer needs.

Sounds like the classic dilemma: technology push vs. market pull. Which camp are you in? Does your elevator pitch begin with a description of your technology? In how much detail can you talk about your customer’s problems?

For most technology entrepreneurs it’s difficult not to analyze a problem through the lens of their own solution. Therefore, they can’t see the problem the way the customer does.

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The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Event: Four Good Reasons to Attend

The excitement is building. Entries are in, and we are gearing up for the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Event November 12 -14, 2013. Now in its fourth year, Accelerate Michigan is an international business competition that brings together entrepreneurial companies with local and national investment capital. It showcases the best and brightest new businesses to help foster their growth within Michigan.  Each year, 50 innovative companies and 25 top student companies compete for almost $1 million in prize monies.   In 2012, 60 venture capitalists from 51 firms judged the competition – providing a great network across the country.

If you’re an entrepreneur or in any way engaged in the innovation community, or if you are looking to get engaged, here are four good reasons you should join us.

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Michigan Tech Entrepreneurs: Are You Getting What’s Coming to You?

If you’re an entrepreneur in Michigan, you’re lucky. There are all kinds of assistance programs within the state to help you cultivate your idea into a marketable product. And, if your company is technology-based, you’ve got it even better. Michigan is one of only a few states that provides a comprehensive program to train and help you prepare proposals to compete for federal funding through the government’s SBIR and/or STTR programs at little or no cost to you.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs award over $2.5 billion dollars in grants and contracts annually through a competitive awards-based program. 11 agencies participate in the federally-mandated programs. This compelling source of non-dilutive funding encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

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