We explore the discoveries of researchers at large institutions. We study the needs of the market. And, most importantly, we iterate between these.
We read up on the work of more than 30 researchers at universities and government labs every week. About half of those are driven by us looking for a solution to a specific market problem and the other half are us searching for the new and interesting. Often, the two get twisted and turned into the same thing.
We match our reading to our portfolio companies to find synergies and competitive threats.
For synergies, we seek out licenses and joint development.
For competitors, we come up with strategies to maximize our advantages.
For research that doesn’t line up with an existing portfolio company, we consider if it would be a strategic fit for a new startup. Specifically, does certain research address an intriguing opportunity in aquaculture, materials science, imaging systems and/or computational modeling?
We have in depth discussions with more than 10 researchers each week because their work fits one of our portfolio companies or one of our strategic areas of interest. From there, we select on average one idea each week to do a more detailed market analysis on by calling up potential customers and learning about their needs.
We also learn a lot about market needs from our existing portfolio companies’ interactions with their customers. These drive us to find solutions from researchers at universities and government labs.
Our broad-based approach to understanding new research and matching to the market creates a large network both for vetting new ideas and in rapidly understanding their value.