Landing a meeting with a potential partner presents some challenges. As we heard from our in-house tech scout guru, it can be especially daunting in the scientific field because of all of the paperwork and research required. However, there are a few pieces of information that will help the tech scout quickly determine potential fit. Today, we will break down how to prepare and answer the following questions:
- What is the current project status?
- What’s already happened?
- What’s next?
- What is the commercial potential?
Those questions seem fairly easy to answer, right? Of course they are! This is your project, and you know exactly how to answer them. The more important question is, though, can you answer them in a way that resonates with what a tech scout is looking for? Let’s run through them now.
1. Current Project Status
Let’s start with what this section is not. This is not a place to give the background of your company or your elevator pitch. Tech watch wants to know exactly where you are, which means:
- Express your scientific research field. This one is straightforward and sets the stage for the information to follow.
- Clearly define your research’s development stage. Start by stating the category in which your research falls (i.e. Medical Device, Materials, Software, etc.). Next, state the development stage you are currently at (i.e. concept validation, proof-of-concept, version 1.0, etc.). Additionally, if you have a prototype available, you should note this.
- Highlight your product advantages. This can be a bit ambiguous, but we suggest thinking about this in four categories: cost, performance, usability, and reliability. For the purposes of a clear project summary, it is best to indicate which of these your research has. Make sure to have your supporting information ready. Once engaged in dialogue with a partner, they will most likely have questions about how your research achieves its advantages.
2. What’s already happened?
This can be answered by creating a simple table that describes the milestones you have achieved and when they were completed. Please see an example below.
3. What’s next?
Like in the previous question, you can clearly show this by creating a development tasks table. This should include both completed and forecasted tasks. For each task, make sure to include the start and end dates, along with the estimated cost. See below for an example.
4. How commercially viable is your product?
If you have read our post on addressable markets, you may know that product viability can be expressed by a few different metrics. Going through addressable market calculations is a great exercise to get you and your team thinking about the ways your work can be applied. Additionally, by providing this information to a tech scout, they see that you understand their world and the commercial potential.
Some relevant supporting evidence could be data for any customers you may have. If you do have customers, you should provide key metrics.
Going through a project summary exercise like this is a great way to prepare yourself for conversations about a potential collaboration. Many times, we as entrepreneurs can be focused on the core product or services we have been working on every day. By taking this step back, we can think about the key pieces of information technology scouts are looking for. This will help them understand if there is a potential fit more quickly, and ultimately could result in greater visibility because you speak to them in their language. A tool that can help you compile this information is a seed profile. Our profiles are designed with tech scouts in mind, and can help guide you through these exercises. Happy seeding!