AT&T Intellectual Property
AT&T Intellectual Property, Outlicensing Group: For three years, 2009-2011, we were AT&T’s outside consulting team to analyze, review and market software technologies. This was a big operational administrative effort
to coordinate the evaluation of over 100 technologies during this time, many from AT&T Labs. This effort was prior to their creation of the AT&T Foundry. We also crafted external marketing materials, when asked, for their sales
teams, as well as for our external marketing purposes.
Each technology had to pass through two evaluation stages. The first stage involved 3 subject-matter-experts who we engaged to interact with AT&T staff in a one-hour evaluation conversation, not only to assess the technology
relative to the perceived market opportunity, but also to gauge the ease of creating license-worthy and product-ready software that could be unhinged from
AT&T Labs or AT&T’s internal IT systems. For our larger “deep dive” written reports for each technology deemed “high market potential,” we engaged one consultant to interact directly with AT&T staff, and conduct extensive
outside marketing research to determine the potential market opportunity and potential licensees.
University IP Business Plan
Wrote Business Plan & Completed Grant Requirements
Rob Steir was brought on by a university professor at Stonybrook University to become the Entrepreneurial Lead for their PowerbridgeNY.com grant in the fall of 2015. PowerBridge is a program from NYCERDA that funds cleantech innovations from specific NY-based universities that are ready for commercialization. Over the course of a few months, Rob completed several business-related grant deliverables including a business canvas model, the
business model, business plan with financials, and investor presentation. He also representing the newco company at a number of business plan pitch competitions on behalf of PowerBridge and the professor. The company had a prototype “power box” that sits next to a railroad track. It is able to harvest small amounts of energy created by a passing train via track vibrations, and then use this energy to power communication sensors and other trackside applications. The company-to-be was able to graduate the program at assignment completion.
State of Florida
For 2009 University Technology Transfer Grant Program
State of Florida (via Florida Research Corporation). MindForce was hired to judge a $2M Florida SURECAG Program (2008-09). During the 4th quarter of 2008,
MindForce reviewed 41 detailed proposals submitted by 8 Florida public university technology transfer offices for grants in three separate phases: $50K outright grants for tech transfer (OTC-Like) internal process improvements
$100K matching grants for writing business plans for innovations still residing within the university
Up to four $250K matching grants for companies who have licensed Florida public university’s patents MindForce brought together over 40 subject matter business experts, and 3 tech transfer industry professionals (NYU, Johns Hopkins, University of Utah) to assist us in judging the submitted proposals. We formed teams of 5 SMEs based on their expertise and matched them to each submitted university or company. We conducted phone interviews with either the CEOs of the startups seeking capital, or the university’s principal investigators to assess their commercialization potential. Based on our team’s completed individual assessments, we made recommendations of the best proposals for each category to the State of Florida Board of Governors – All recommendations were accepted and awards made.
U.S. National Science Foundation
150+ Mentors For SBIR NSF Phase 2 Commercialization Plans. For three years, 2009-2012, we worked as the sub-contractor to a prime contractor Development Capital Network who had a contract with the National
Science Foundation. They were hired to provide technical assistance to Phase One SBIR award winners who were completing their Phase Two Commercialization Plans.
Over the 3 years (6 groups of award winners), we provided over 150 mentors, who assisted over 300 companies. Each mentor was matched to a company based on their industry expertise. Most mentors spent 5 to 20 hours helping Phase 1 grant winners improve their written commercialization plans for Phase II grant money.
University IP Licensed
We assisted the technology transfer office of a prominent southern university in finding a start-up to license IP. The company unfortunately failed to successfully commercialize its IP after receiving a Series B round and went out of business.
We were engaged at an early stage to work with the
university in 2008. We made contributions to the university prior to their filing the patent, which was issued just one year after filing. Not only did we find the start-up entrepreneur interested in licensing the technology, but we
also played a significant role in negotiating deal terms as part of the university’s team. In 2014, we found another licensee for the technology in a different field of use, but unfortunately the entrepreneur passed away and the field of use license reverted back to the university.
Validate graphene technology for commercialization
In 2012, we were asked to work with a prominent international scientist who had a nanotechnology process to create a revolutionary product using graphene.
We were asked to conduct detailed technology and market assessments to both understand the opportunity and validate new market options. Two of our key consultants were brought in –both with engineering and business backgrounds, i.e. they knew what they were doing. Graphene is pure carbon in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet, one atom thick. It is remarkably strong
for its very low weight (100 times stronger than steel and it conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency. Primarily, we were engaged to determine if the technology performed as claimed and if it had commercialization potential for any number of markets, if confirmed. The six month project included trips to two countries, working with numerous nanotech labs to run experiments, as we
worked to first understand the properties of the provided graphene samples and then understand the test results and potential for commercialization. Our team
determined limited commercialization potential in water filtration, but potential in a related area, but the client decided not to push forward.