Making the decision: Pre-Event materials development
required to support inknowvation@work participation
|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. ...more
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
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. Most ‘partnering’; and networking events offered/required by SBIR agencies and many others involve lots of people representing the larger firms (and sources of capital). However, as most of you keep telling us – these types of showcasing efforts have been largely ineffective. You exchange a lot of business cards and lots of people seem interested, but there is minimal follow-up … and few deals ever seem to get done.
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 http://www.inknowvation.com/pg-inknowvation-at-work/registration.
- 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.
there is minimal likelihood of a working relationship in the foreseeable future
The tools used to make this Invite Decision by the Tech Seeker are:
1. The Business Profile on your firm – a document developed 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. These documents may include:
- 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
- Less effective, but acceptable if well crafted, is a simple 250-300 word overview provided by an interested SBIR awardee which connects the dots
- between what technical elements you bring to the table – competencies, background, experience etc
- and those areas of technical interest (often at widely differing stage of thought-through) indicated by the Tech Seeker
- if there are several potential Topic matches, commonly the small firm will submit more than one Tech Overview OR will design their Overview to address different topics
- A full-blown Nutshell – a carefully crafted Capabilities Statement. 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 this event, the same Nutshell documents format is available at NO-COST but are client- and time-specific. These Nutshells will be provided only to P&G and will remain active only for the few weeks after this particular inknowvation@work project concludes.
Designed to enable substantive discussion at event, you are encouraged to provide pre-event at your discretion some - or all – of the above.