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Entrepreneurship

Convertible Equity–An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Convertible Equity–An Idea Whose Time Has Come

In my last company, Advanced Diamond Technologies, there was a time between equity financing rounds when we needed bridge financing. This is very common among young companies. I don’t recall now the circumstances under which we needed to raise money quickly, but it has always been the […]

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Impedance Mismatch

Impedance Mismatch

I’ve written and talked about the cultural differences between entrepreneurs and career researchers. Lately I’ve discovered a new one: Scientists:     Are afraid of making bad decisions. As a result, they are slow to make difficult decisions. Entrepreneurs:     Optimize around fast, not perfect, decision making with […]

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Testimony from House Review of Innovation Corps Program

Testimony from House Review of Innovation Corps Program

Earlier today I got the opportunity to provide witness testimony for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Science Education in a hearing called Innovation Corp:  A Review of a New National Science Foundation Program to Leverage Research Investments. The session was […]

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Principle Three: Leverage Private Money

Principle Three:  Leverage Private Money

Continuing with the Nine Guiding Principles, onto Principle Three. Everyone knows that raising private capital to finance a startup is difficult. This post is not going to tell that story. There are zillions of articles and blog posts about how to raise money. Maybe someday I’ll write […]

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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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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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