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Archive for 2011

Introducing Graphene

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTSnnlITsVg&feature=colike

The new wonder material

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Culture Clash: Scientists vs. Entrepreneurs

Much of the work that I have done involves transferring technologies out of academia or federal laboratories. The framework for academic spinoffs is that typically there are technical co-founder(s) who are the subject matter experts in the technology. But investors have declared the days of “professors as […]

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Why A Startup is Like Chutes and Ladders

Why A Startup is Like Chutes and Ladders

You know Chutes and Ladders–the board game (Snakes and Ladders to those of you from the British Commonwealth). It’s popular among the younger set since the game is simple and requires no skill. In fact luck is a major component of success with the game. The goal […]

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Get Out of the Building

Get Out of the Building

We’re a few weeks into the Lean LaunchPad Class, NSF Innovation Corps edition, and one phrase comes up over and over again by the instructors:  Get Out of the Building. This simple phrase directs the teams to go figure out what their customers need and want, and […]

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Principle Two: Get the Manufacturing Right

You can’t sell it if you can’t make it. Most of the companies that I have worked with over the past 10 years have had a heavy dose of engineering content in their products. The companies made physical stuff (i.e., not software) and the reproducibilty and scalability of the […]

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Principle One: It’s All About the Markets

Principle One: It’s All About the Markets

This is the first of my Nine Guiding Principles. About 10 years ago Tom Churchwell, a VC in the Chicago area, said to me, “I’ve never seen a technology company fail because of the technology.” I’ve come to really understand this statement since I’ve now seen first […]

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Questions

Questions

What are we going to make? Who are we going to sell it to? Why will they care?

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Nine Guiding Principles for Starting a Technology Business

In June of this year I gave a talk at the TAPPI conference in Washington, D.C. on the guiding principles for building a nanotechnology company. In my mind I was clear about what I wanted to accomplish with my talk. Enough has been written/discussed about the mechanics […]

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Job Security

It seems appropriate on Labor Day to think about job security. Is it just me or does it seem as though these days the only true job security is when you’re an entrepreneur? I heard several stories in the past few days about people who were laid off […]

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Get the RED Out

Get the RED Out

Anyone who has ever been around entrepreneurs and early-stage companies knows that early-stage business projections (revenue, cash flow, profit) are overly optimistic. Experienced investors always cut them down before analyzing the company. And experienced investors also know that a top-down set of projections (such as, “We’ll get […]

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1212 S. Naper Blvd. Suite 119-200 Naperville, IL 60540

About

I'm Neil Kane - a serial entrepreneur who specializes in commercializing complex technologies that come out of academic research labs or federal laboratories.
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