Selection Process

Relevant documents:

      At-event structured opportunities for SBIR awardee presentation(s).
      Elements of an inknowvation@work project
Component part of ASSET system - Access SBIR-STTR Scientific & Engineering Talent system -inknowvation @work a sophisticated process by which the expressed technology development needs of a particlar major/mid-sized corporation interested in project collaboration(s) are matched to one/more SBIR-involved firms having relevant skill sets and capabilities. An extensive process usually culminating in a one-and-one half
day event held on the site of Tech Seeker and involving a range of senior decision-making personnel. Objective: mutually useful, business collaboration.
Making the decision: Pre-Event materials development required to support inknowvation@work participation

The effectiveness for all parties of  inknowvation@work® lies, in some large measure, in the fact that we make the effort to ensure that the right people are in the room.  It makes no sense

  • EITHER that SBIR awardees prepare for, and travel, to a Tech Seeker location only to find that there is minimal interest in what they bring to the table
  • OR that Tech Seekers play host to small firms which are not in their space

Hence, pre-event, considerable time is spent

  • to identify and interact with small firms with capabilities and skills that seem to fit – ONLY those guys are made aware of the opportunity
  • to provide the hosts in their role Tech Seekers what they need to choose the particular SBIR awardees with whom they want to meet 

Taking a needs-driven, market pull approach where the emphasis is on what the Tech Seekers are buying, the ASSET system – Access SBIR-STTR Scientific and Engineering Talent system – of which  inknowvation@work® is a component piece - is a very different approach to enabling SBIR awardees to draw down (some part of) the value of what they have created. 

In their role as Tech Seeker and always engaging senior decision-makers in the Host Corporation, an  inknowvation@work® event only involves a single large firm.  Always held on-site, or close to their primary facilities so as to engage all relevant personnel, these events are at NO-COST to the small firms and, critically, are NOT Open Access. 

  • This event is always about what the Tech Seeker needs/wants by area of project interest and collaborative endeavor. It is not ever about what you may be selling.  Neither is it about what they can do for you – though that may eventually prove to be a lot.  In this context, it is all about what you can do for them; about how what you have would help them meet a felt need.
  • Your simply being interested in attending a particular  inknowvation@work® is a necessary – but not sufficient condition.  To get on that working list from which those to be invited are actually selected, FIRST you need to site-register
  • But there needs also to be real potential for mutual value.  The host large firm gets to pick which SBIR awardees they want to meet from among those expressing interest. Perhaps a better way to think of this is that they take off the initial interested list, any firm they judge not likely to be of partnering interest to them.  Most commonly, this is because there is a mismatch of technical relevance.
No-one wants to waste your (or their) time getting together when
there is minimal likelihood of a working relationship in the foreseeable future

Relevant documents:
The elements brought to bear by the Tech Seeker to make this Invite Decision are:

1.    The Business Profile on your firm – a document developed by us from the data in our systems.  A copy of this piece is provided to the Tech Seeker on EVERY interested SBIR awardee and it the primary basis for the decision to invite (or not).  
         BEFORE that document is processed, you will have been provided a copy of that report as generated by our systems.  You are encouraged and enabled to provide your input – updates; any misstatements; errors of omission etc.   That completely upgraded piece is what is provided to Tech Seeker personnel.
2.    Since the Business Profile is primarily about the background and condition of the firm, also provided to the Tech Seeker are various forms of document overviewing your technical competencies. 

  • Some of these are required - the review process that precedes selection for event participation will not go forward without them
  • Others may be optional - you may or may not choose to provide them

Required documents:

  • Business prologue: This is a very brief piece - prepared early in the application process and often less than 500 words - having elements of the an Elevator Pitch you are often encouraged to have crafted when you are raising money.  A write npiece, the Bsuiness Prologue is much like the abstract of any proposal you might submit to and SBIR agency - offer the compelling reason(s) for why the Tech Seeker in question would likely want to meet with, and talk to you.  With the organizing theme always being that they are the CUSTOMER who are buying solutions to THEIR problems, in effect this is that piece which piques their interest by your connecting the dots
    • between what you bring to the table – capabilities, competencies, background, experience etc
    • and how those those are relevant to the Areas of (Problem) Interest they have indicated.
This piece is particularly important where the relevance of what you are about to the problems they are tackling may not be immediately obvious. Examples: You are bringing technology from one application to one that is completey different - military to medical;  your business focus is longer term but what you have right now could be useful to address a much nearer term concern; soemthing you have and something they have together could make something that neither of you could do alone. 

Fundamental advice:  Don't leave to them the task of divining how what you have could be useful to them doing their job.  Tell them - enough to make sure thatthey will want to meet you and have that conversation in greater depth.

  • A full-blown Nutshell – a carefully crafted Capabilities Statement.  This much more comprehensive overview of who the firm is MUST BE on-file with us not less than ONE WEEK before the event.  Format is that set out in your On-SIte Office.   Usually, these are part of the year-round relationship that many SBIR awardee’s have in the ASSET system (costs $295.00 per year) where their materials are accessible in promotional mode to all our Tech Seeker clients.  For inknowvation@work® events, the same Nutshell documents format is available at NO-COST but are client- and time-specific. These Nutshells will be provided only to Novartis and will remain active only for the few weeks after this particular project concludes.
Optional - but strongly recommended documents:
  • White papers (or equivalent).  White Papers are NOT proposals, Instead, these are non-proprietary documents with focus to the technical competency(ies) you bring to the table re. particular and/or various areas of partnering interest.  Once you are system registered AND have selected one/more Topics, a working template for a White Paper will be in Your Work Area on the event site.   Work on White Papers may continue after you have been issued your event invite
  • Other relevant materials - marketing, professional papers etc - you judge useful as teasing out the firm's presence.  If provided in electronic format, all these will be included on the Event Thumb Drive.

In various ways, all of the materials indicated above are designed to ensure that pre-event the Tech Seeker has a useful overview of who you are, what you are about and what you bring to the table.  By this means we are able to ensure that you and those you are tomeet can move quickly to substantive discussion at event,