A managed end-to-end commercialisation process from Lab to IPO.
Academic research projectsmay not have an obvious commercially viable outcome and in some cases, R&D may not be visible to university innovation teams. SME’s on the other hand, may also be involved in R&D but be unaware of the potential benefits of academic involvement.
The STEaM PIPE process is designed to identify Science, Technology, Engineering and Math based projects in both undergraduate and postgraduate domains. This requires a hands on review of projects and the development of a STEaM PIPE ‘pathway’ within the university to drive awareness of the commercial process to support R&D and IP commercialisation.
Since 2012 we have honed our approach to identifying and commercialising university R&D and Innovation and have broken the process down into four (4) distinct phases. This allows the university to engage the methodology either in part and phase by phase or as a wholly outsourced and turn key solution – see below:
Phase 1 – ‘Getting to know you’: Firstly it is important to appraise the university R&D/Innovation pipeline in terms of what opportunities exist, what position they are in with IP/patenting and potential for exploitation commercially. But it is also important to communicate with the student body and academics and to inform them that there is a process for raising up innovative ideas for commercial review. The PIPE Company LLC in partnership with the university, raise awareness internally, identify opportunities, prioritise them based on their viability and create a framework for moving R&D and innovative propositions through to commercial viability. The outcome from this phase is a clear ‘pipeline’ of weighted opportunities against which we can forecast tasks and actions for future commercialisation.
Phase 2 – ‘Development’: In this phase, those opportunities that are sufficiently developed, although possibly no more than a proof of concept, can be ‘accelerated’ through our commercial process. During this phase we carry out market research, corporate partnering via our associates and identification of the key building blocks and requirements that the proposition needs to become a commercial reality. As part of this phase we will determine where the market opportunities lie, what the route to market may well be, what the overall opportunity is and will begin to build commercial partnerships with our EU corporate partners or seek and engage new corporate partners as required. The outcome of this phase will be a clear set of tasks that will lead to the full commercialisation of the particular proposition and our recommendation as to how that commercialisation will develop.
Phase 3 – ‘Defining’: Once we have agreed to move from Phase 2, we begin the process of building the commercial plan for investment. This includes recruiting commercial partners from our associate pool, the creation of a full business plan to cover the 3-5 year period, the creation of a company structure and name, legals, shareholdings etc. We also look to build the future management team via our associate members, corporate partners and non-executive directors and advisers. The purpose of this exercise is to put forward the strongest commercial argument for investment backed by the strongest team in which investors can have faith. The outcome is a fully formed business and business plan that is ready to accept investment and deliver to that plan.
Phase 4 – ‘Financing’: This phase is focused purely on investment and negotiating commercial terms, whether that is via the PIPE Fund and Pre-IPO Exchange or partner VC’s, angels and investor groups across the EU. This phase is potentially the longest of the four phases and can take 4-6 months to complete, although if the PIPE Fund invests then the process will complete more quickly, subject to the funds Investment Committee approval.
The STEaM PIPE process and the wider PIPE Exchange and PIPE Fund are promoted locally and nationally to SME’s and corporates to drive collaboration, helping business understand the opportunities and value of engaging with university R&D.
This process is proactive and each university/region has a dedicated account manager who’s role is to promote collaboration locally and regionally as well as nationally and in some cases internationally. Account managers share innovation projects and consider if connected projects across borders will form more viable propositions and joint ventures for grater, longer term benefit.
Commercialisation of R&D/IP is the goal of the PIPE process with the ongoing financial support from seed to IPO funding managed via the PIPE Exchange. Funding will be provided for projects that meet the criteria and KPI’s from €150,000 through to €2m and beyond.
For more information, please Contact Us.