Boot Camp

We do not compete for access to your research with dollars. We compete with an offer to help make you and your research the best they can be. We have the hard evidence to back up this claim. There are a half-dozen hurdles you need to pass in order to join our very exclusive club. But we ensure that with each hurdle you pass, you will have lapped a large portion of the competition in advancing your research.

We work with you every step of the way, with services that are unique to the industry. You will put in more work and effort than you’ve ever experienced in your career, but you’ll be happy to do it. You’ll have access to the best expertise helping make your special research project a success. So, for example, you have access to the best patent lawyers, legal experts, scientific technical experts, recruiters, etc. This is much better than money can buy and they work for you.

Below is a sampling of the hurdles you’ll face during your 12-18 month provisional period:

  • Invitation to Propose
  • Proposal Development and Acceptance (Welcome to Boot camp)
  • Recruitment of the Core Team
  • Demonstration of the Commercial Viability of your Research
  • Certification and Training in World Class R&D (Jointly and Individually)
  • Certification of the Business Plan
  • Certification of the Operating Model
  • Graduation (Welcome to the Club)

Each of these will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced in any acquisition or merger. They are World Class in both quality and difficulty. Read each one of these hurdles, and then imagine leaping over one or a few of them. You’ll be far ahead of those not fortunate enough to have started down this path. And, you will receive maintenance-level funding to tide you through this provisional work.

From the moment your research proposal is accepted you are essentially stripped down and sent off to boot camp. You’ll run your provisional business during the day. You’ll meet your obligations to learn franchise operations+ during the evening. Both are full-time jobs and both are critical to your acceptance into the club. You must prove the commercial viability of your research with concrete evidence as developed in the laboratory and tested in the field. You must prove you can pull together a highly effective team, as demonstrated by their performance in the provisional business, informed by their training in World Class R&D.

You must be invited to propose. You can ask for an invitation, but don’t bother proposing without an invite. This is not an arms-length+ transaction. We work with you, intimately, to help you craft the best possible proposal for your research or technology. You gain access to the best experts in the technology and business fields appropriate for your proposal. This can take months. We give you provisional funding to help you through this process. You gain an immediate sense that we’re in this to make you and your technology as successful as they can be. But you must be invited to propose.

We won’t expect you to have your core team in place once your proposal is accepted. But we do want a recruiting plan in place, and we do provide both recruiting services and access to a pool of experts (scientists, researchers and business experts) that have already proven themselves in earlier franchise ventures. There are interim assessments of progress in boot camp, so recruitment of the team is top priority.

Training and Certification in World Class R&D is both passive, in the classroom exercises, and active, in that your graduation will be based on development of a Business Plan and Operating Model. It will typically require 12-18 month to build the Business Plan and Operating Model, concurrent with your training in the principles of World Class R&D. Each lesson adds a chapter to your planning documents, but customized by you to the unique needs of your team.

Your Business Plan will be a paragon of Alternate Competing Hypotheses+ ACH. We know that you will only dimly see the commercial direction of your research at this early stage, so we’re more interested in a robust set of alternatives of where the research can lead you. How is it that your research has the potential to spawn multiple blockbuster+ products? We’re looking for a research plan that explores all the commercial possibilities, that thinks ahead of what a hard-stop looks like, and that prioritizes the shortest path to the first commercial product, blockbuster or not.

Your Operating Model will speak volumes, because we expect volumes. We’re not flipping hamburgers here. Your Operating Model will describe, in detail, how you intend to spark creativity in your team, maintain that spark through all the key behavioral moments+, and then ensure the creativity is directed toward commercial pursuits. What’s your game plan so-to-speak for building passion and commitment in your team? You’re never going to get it right the first time, so what’s your plan when the team needs that change of direction?

Graduation is a big deal, to be celebrated in a big way. You will have demonstrated the commercial potential of your research; your team will have demonstrated they have the enthusiasm and staying power that can last decades; your business plan and operating model will be worthy of publication in Harvard Business Review as an example of World Class management. You and your team will be World Class R&D certified. You and your team will be fully ready to leverage the many World Class resources you now have at your disposal as a member. Welcome to the Club.

Dear Investor: Does this sound like a lot of work? Well it is, ask the pros!


Home Page June 2010

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