The 10-week training program for Fall 2015 consists of the following sessions:
Session 0: Introductory Workshop (Friday, July 31, noon – 4pm) Open to eligible applicants.
This workshop will introduce prospective participants to technology commercialization and the role it plays in creating new companies and new products in the marketplace. Attendees will learn about technology-based startups from successful entrepreneurs and hear about the requirements and expectations for the 10-week training program.
Session 1: Technology Matching and Team Building (Wednesday, August 12, 1pm – 5pm)
This session introduces the accepted participants to the mentors and the technologies they have chosen for the training program. Participants meet each other and organize into groups led by a mentor. Participants will meet the training facilitator and learn about the syllabus for the following nine weeks.
Session 2: Understanding the Value Proposition (Wednesday, August 19, 1pm – 5pm)
This session provides an overview of a typical technology business plan, including brief description of each primary section and a template of the scoring sheet to be used in judging the business plans. Participants will explore the expectations of working within a team. Roles and responsibilities, personality characteristics, resolving conflicts and team-building guidelines will be presented.
Session 3: Market Analysis and Strategy (Wednesday, August 26, 1pm – 5pm)
This session focuses on understanding the market applications for the technology, barriers to market entry, characteristics of the customer and purchasing patterns, and other considerations.
Session 4: Commercialization Strategies and Intellectual Property (Wednesday, September 2, 1pm – 5pm)
This session focuses on the processes required for successful technology commercialization, including necessary steps for product development and testing, regulatory requirements, protection of IP, milestones and timelines.
Session 5: Financial Requirements for Bringing a Product to Market (Wednesday, September 9, 1pm – 5pm)
This session highlights the process of understanding costs of product development over time as well as market acceptance and profitability expectations. Working both bottom-up and top-down teams will develop a 3-5 year financial projection based on written assumptions about development costs and product pricing.
Session 6: Company Presentations (Wednesday, September 16, 1pm – 5pm)
This session provides a detailed view of the organization and structure of an investor presentation. Topics will include formulating the “Wow” statement and pain statement, summarizing the technology’s unique benefits, the market opportunity, commercialization timeline and milestones, financial projections and the “Ask.” The judging criteria for the investor presentations will be handed out to all participants.
Session 7: Corporate Structures and Forming the Management Team (Thursday, September 24, 1pm – 5pm)
This session provides an overview of the different types of corporate structures and their particular strengths and appropriateness for commercial development of technology Limited liability corporations, S corporations, C corporations and other structures will be described along with roles and responsibilities of key management positions, Board of Directors and Advisory Boards.
Session 8: Sources of Funding (Wednesday, September 30, 1pm – 5pm)
This session explores the various funding instruments, programs and opportunities that are available for startups seeking to commercialize a technology. Topics include grants, contracts, loans, equity investments and other mechanisms, along with their implications for company ownership and management.
Session 9: Business Plan Submission and Work Session (Wednesday, October 7, 1pm – 5pm)
This is a “working session” for teams to meet with their mentors for final business plan development session and practice for investor presentations. Business plans must be uploaded via flash drive to the project manager’s computer for dissemination to judges prior to the investor pitch contest.
Session 10: Graduation, Investor Pitch (Thursday, October 22, noon – 5pm, plus reception)
This is the final session with each team presenting their technology and business plan to a panel of judges representing investors, successful entrepreneurs and other experts.