Innovation & Commercialisation Bootcamp

The Innovation Bootcamp was quite an interesting experience for me. It was the first time I attended a bootcamp session and overall, I was quite satisfied with the wealth of knowledge and expertise shared over the 2 day session.

Date: Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th November, 2016 (2 days)
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Venue: Collaboration Lounge, Level 4, New Horizons Building, Clayton Campus

The bootcamp was conducted by Dr. Chris Behrenbruch. There were a number of short interesting sessions covering a number of areas that every entrepreneur should consider. These included:

  1. Taking royalty vs equity options:
    • Once the research has been commercialised, the innovator may still be associated with the company via royalty or equity options. The conclusive idea originating from this session was that based on the situation, either option can have a huge pay-off. However, it is important to consider this very carefully so that the inventor is sufficiently rewarded for his or her idea.
  2. Commercialisation Options at Monash:
    • At Monash, there is support and guidance provided  IP generated within university to get it developed commercially (by somebody else) and be used outside. There is a lot yet to achieve at Monash in the commercialisation space. Monash’s  revenue from commercialisation is just 1-2% of it as their annual operating revenue compared to universities like MIT where this is at approximately 10%.
  3. Patents :
    • An interesting bit of advise from the presenter was that we should ensure that the patents are broad in coverage, as the end product may turn out slightly different from what was expected when implemented.
    • Additionally, it is important to recognise that there can be many stakeholders and beneficiaries of a patent: researcher (for recognition, protection, wealth), university (for reputation), funding agency, government (for attracting investments, job creations), consumers (transforming practice, standard of living).
  4. Funding Support Grants
    • Nation Innovation & Science Agenda
      • Linkages grants (govt matches industry contribution)
      • ARC Grant (ARC + Block funding grant from government)
  5. Licensing Deal :
    • Eg. Royalties, upfront fees, option payments, milestones, annual payments
      • to existing companies as they have more awareness of market, have market share, distribution channels and people. Spin-off is challenging if all the above has to be established.
  6. Interesting IT Commercialisation at Monash
    • FODMAP
      • But it is important to note the:
        • IP Statue and Regulations
        • Revenue Split Scheme (0.33:0.33:0.33) Inventor/Faculty/University
        • Monash Innovation was launched in July 2015 to support such innovations
  7. Start-Up Finance
    • Venture Capitalist look for billion investment opportunities.
    • For a start-up, there is plenty of alternative ways to find money:
      • family, credit card, mortgage, banks, crowd funding

Finally some final advise from the presenters that any young or aspiring entrepreneur should be mindful of is:

  • If disruptive technology not commercialised well, it can also fail.
  • Using regulatory reasons can be positive or negative for commercialisation. Eg. In health sector to attain marketshare vs possibility of getting sued etc.
  • Personality types are important to understand and manage relationship management.