The Business of Phase III
getting to working relationships
The Annual ASSETs Forum - now in its SEVENTH iteration - is the by-invitation, flagship component of the now proven, needs-driven, market-pull ASSET system developed and offered by long-time SBIR advocate, Ann Eskesen.
Collectively, the ASSET system is a powerful, integrated and effective approach to bring together and make the connections between
Tech Seekers - those from major and mid-sized corporations having
-- the job description and professional responsibility for identifying external sources of technology relevant to meeting the technology needs of that corporation
-- AND, importantly, the authority and access to resources required to institute appropriate working arrangements with qualified small firms
and those particular SBIR-involved firms which careful pre-event review suggests have the relevant skill-sets and capabilities to address (some useful part of) one or more of indicated needs of the participating Tech Seekers needs.
Not about showcasing or product placement:
In strong contrast to most SBIR-focused events where the spotlight seems primarily to be on what the small firms have and what they think they need, what drives any ASSETs activity is always “what is the buyer buying?” NOT "what is the small firm selling".
With respect, it has been our experience that even when a small firm has extraordinary technology - best-in-class and leading in their field - if there iis NOT a good match between what they say and the job description of those listening to include the equivalent of ‘get into working relationship with someone who has (fill in the blank) that addresses a need we have .... then nothing happens!
The ASSETs difference:
In a sophisticated process grounded in powerful and detailed relational databases, the ASSETs approach starts always from the defined needs of the buyer and works backwards to determine which particular SBIR awardees have the relevant skills sets and capabilities to do the job to hand.
If you get an email about this - or any other ASSETs event - it is because that process suggests there is a good prospective match; that there are one-more participating Tech Seekers with whom it would be worth your while to meet.
- None of the ASSETs events - the Forum, the ...focused on series, or inknowvation@work® - are ever large-crowd conferences. Rarely are there ever more than 90-100 people in any event.
- Neither are they training sessions or how-to workshops; let's-hope networking opportunities; nor even, really, SBIR events, as such.
Though there are elements of all these useful event participation experience - interesting analytical sessions, learning experiences, quality topics and first-rate speakers, and lots of participant interaction - the organizing principle in design and conduct of any ASSET event is an extensive pre-event effort to ensure that the right people are in the room - the right people being those with the necessary authority to enable mutually valuable, working relationships.
Extensive post-event follow-up for almost all participants. For many SBIR awardees that has meant a full dance-card. ... what are they saying?
Dozens (to date) of consummated deals and viable working relationships brought to fruition with value so far totaling well $150M. Others in the pipeline.