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Commercializing Photonics Technology

Apr 28, 2016
TO VIEW THIS WEBINAR:
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ABOUT THIS WEBINAR
This presentation will outline the approach to move advanced technology into successful commercial products. The elements of commercialization will be defined, including: technology innovation, identification of market opportunities and potential; the competitive environment related to both technology and companies; manufacturing, encompassing discussion of source, quality, cost, cost reduction and standards; barriers to entry; value proposition, including product differentiation; strategy; entrepreneurial management; and funding.

The presentation will also discuss current and future hot areas for investor funding.

Participants will get tips for identifying market opportunities and developing a roadmap for successful commercialization. The presentation will provide an outline for commercialization plans now required in many government contracts. It will help to define and justify funding levels and potential sources of funding.

The presentation is intended for anyone involved with technology development, as well as business development opportunities in the photonics area.

Presenter David Krohn is managing partner of Light Wave Venture LLC and developer of the Commercialization of Innovative Technology through Entrepreneurship (CITE) model. He has been involved in photonics development and commercialization for more than 50 years and has assisted more than 125 companies and organizations in developing photonics-based opportunities.

In prior experience, Krohn served as global new business director for photonics at 3M Co. From 1987 to 1998 he was the general manager of the 3M specialty optical fiber business, which included the Bragg grating technologies business acquired from UTC in 1995. In 1979 he founded EOTec Corp., a manufacturer of specialty fiber, sensors, cables, cable assemblies and data links. He was the CEO of EOTec until the business was acquired by 3M in 1987. He has also very active in many technical societies and universities, where he teaches short courses in technology and business development.

Krohn has a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University, a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University and a doctorate from Lehigh University, all in materials science. He authored the book Commercialization Basics for the Photonics Industry.

Audience questions and the presenter's responses are provided below.

1. Why is developing products in a customer vacuum destined to fail?
Products developed in a customer vacuum may succeed, but the probability of success is low. Often secondary specifications, that are not necessarily obvious, exist. Without talking with the customer and understanding and meeting all the required specifications it generally means no sale. Customers will define specific needs. Products that focus on those needs will be much more likely to succeed.

2. Could you elaborate on the risks of assuming a certain market penetration percentage? How would you recommend making this accurate?
Assuming a market penetration makes a lot of assumptions. For instance, if the overall market is $100 million and you assume a 5 percent market penetration, your sales are $5 million. The assumption typically does not address all the barriers to achieving this level of sales. It is important to be more granular. How many units can you sell at what price? What is the buying cycle? Can you create a value proposition that can displace the competition? Is your selling structure in place? Is the customer willing to buy? A market projection based on unit volume after significant customer contact will give a clearer forecast of market penetration.

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