Tech Team Services
The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center Tech Team is a state funded initiative that enables entrepreneurs to bridge the gap between technology development and commercialization. The statewide Tech Team consists of nine consultants with proven track records of technology commercialization.
We focus our efforts in three key areas:
- Access to capital
- Access to resources
- Strategic planning and execution
In 2011, the Tech Team assisted over 350 technology companies and entrepreneurs in raising over $69 million and accelerating job growth throughout the Michigan economy.
Is your company a technology company? Definition of a Tech Company
Tech Business Assistance Services:
Intellectual Property Guidance
(1) General intellectual property guidance, including trademark, model agreements and licensing agreement information;
(2) General business law assistance, including choice of entity and contract negotiations;
(3) Referrals to network of attorneys;
(4) Post-capital raise assistance.
(1) General SBIR/STTR program information sessions;
(2) Specific agency information including tips, templates, instructions, and information necessary for the client to write a successful proposal;
(3) Screening, technical, and commercialization reviews as well as submission assistance;
(4) Post award negotiation and reporting assistance.
Preparing Clients for Angel or Venture Capital Pitch/Presentation
(1) General education on angel/VC financing;
(2) Referrals to service providers (finance, legal) and volunteers (investors, successful entrepreneurs, service providers);
(3) Coaching on elevator pitch, 10-20 minute presentation (w/ Power Point) and executive summary;
(4) Exposure at public forums;
(5) Referrals to angel groups and venture capitalists.
Commercialization Planning via Technology Roadmapping
The SBTDC counselors provide the client with an overview of technology roadmapping and the processes for dealing with a market pull(customer demand satisfaction) or a technology push(customer demand creation). The client is assisted in creating a framework for the roadmap that ties together market drivers, product or service attributes, technologies, required, and resources needed to form a one page visual business plan for commercialization. In addition business mapping or mind mapping is used to collect and organize the content for the technology roadmaps.
Management Team Assistance
(1) Assess the founding team;
(2) Identify gaps in current team;
(3) Define roles and responsibilities of missing team members and plan how and when to bring those members aboard;
(4) Assist founders in stepping up to fill the gaps on interim basis;
(5) Assist founders in filling gaps through networking and introductions;
(6) Present objectively to founders how they can be most productive to the company on an ongoing basis.
Strategic Alliance Building
(1) Identify areas where strategic partnerships best support commercialization strategy;
(2) Help client spell out needs of both parties. May include research on the targeted strategic partner with the client;
(3) Define framework of successful partnership. Identify impact (positive and negative) of the proposed partnership over the long term;
(4) Networking and introductions where possible;
(5) Prepare client to pitch the strategic partner;
(6) Pre-negotiation preparation;
(7) Ongoing advice to client to help maintain the partnership.
(1) Development of the business model to justify the technology time and dollar investment, demonstrate rapid growth;
(2) Early sales and commercialization strategies to jump start cash flow from customers;
(3) Identify strategic partnerships to fuel rapid technology development and as a source for additional funding;
(4) Primary market research assistance provided through research tool development and university implementation resources, follow up with results interpretation;
(5) Trade show preparation, both administrative and sales strategy;
(6) Collateral material and website review;
(7) Prioritize customer categories by speed to market and value;
(8) Expand strategy into doing business with the Government (and commercializing into the private sector for government contractors);
(9) Sales and marketing personnel need identification, job descriptions, and hiring channels;
(10) Identify outside marketing resource needs, finding good contractor matches, developing working relationship;
(11) Develop marketing basics such as market pricing, feature demand, and benefit statements, as well as review formalized marketing plan;
(12) Develop customer retention programs to minimize new customer market spend;
(13) Create detailed marketing budget based on customer value, sales ramp-up strategy, and channel development
(1) Intellectual Property assistance including referrals to attorneys and university services;
(2) Referrals to technology experts (engineers, scientists, university faculty, physicians, etc.) who can help validate the technology;
(3) Help the client define milestones (software model, simulation, grants or contracts, etc.) that will be recognized as proof of concept. Assistance in accomplishing these milestones;
(4) Assistance developing surveys, focus groups, alpha and beta tests, and other approaches to obtaining customer feedback to determine product parameters for successful commercialization;
(5) Assistance in developing business model that supports commercialization. Verification of customer demand through primary market research assistance. Establishing commercialization parameters, such as pricing, that supports the business model and justifies the R&D expense.
Michigan Economic Development Programs
(1) Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund Proposal submission assistance
(2) Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund submission assistance
(3) Smart Zone Business Accelerator submission assistance
(4) Business Accelerator Fund submission assistance
(5) Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition submission assistance