Project Description

A startup led by university academics was seeking funding for a technology platform with the potential for other product applications. The initial product concept, however, had limited market traction.

Before funding the effort, university accelerator leadership wanted to validate the initial concept and other tech transfer areas, using customer research and other screens.

The structured approach resulted in re-prioritized efforts and a process for evaluating other efforts.

Challenge

  • University-sponsored venture accelerator evaluating decision to invest in technology start-up
  • Limited success with initial product concept/market segments, due to a number of factors
  • Range of other tech transfer opportunities identified, though no systematic way of identifying or evaluating market opportunities

Action

  • Start-up platform technology and current business plan and licensing opportunity assessment
  • Strategic workshop with key executives (university officials, company management, scientists) to build out alternative technology target customers and use cases
  • Market-driven framework to evaluate where-to-play business and market opportunities
  • Strategic opportunity area screening (i.e., strategic, financial, customer and operational) to inform decision-making

Result

  • Identification of the most attractive applications to target, in terms of opportunity sizing, fit with company strategic objectives, business complexity, technology value, etc.
  • Recommendation to not invest in next-stage funding, given changes in market dynamics and deeper customer understanding
  • EquiBrand selected as university‚Äôs preferred partner for subsequent market evaluation work

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