The researcher with business mindset is the key to transform knowledge in a successful commercial product.
One of the main issues that researchers or academics face when they have an idea or a deep knowlegde of any technology is how to transform it into a product or a company with commercial success. Venture capital companies can contribute to transform this knowlegde into a company that generates market value and be able to grow. But the key is that the person with the idea have also a business mindset, says Rocío Pillado (Madrid, 1981). Computer engineer by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and MBA by Chicago University, she is partner in Adara Venures, a venture capital company that manages 180 million euros to invest in Deep Tech european companies and belongs to investment ecosystem of The Collider, the innovation area of MWCapital.
Transfer knowledge from a university or research center is always a difficult process. Researchers and academics who have a high knowledge of a certain technology and are aware of maket’s reallity use to be very brilliant people, but sometimes they don’t have the will or the courage to bring these ideas to the market and create a new competitive product.
One of the main challenges of the venture capital is precisely to help this researchers and entrepreneurs to make this decision and help them along the transicion process, so they can stop thinking only in a scientific way and become researchers with business mindset, precises Rocío.
In Spain, as it happens in other southern Europe countries, exist a lot of scientific and technological talent with vocation to be researchers, academics or university professors, but not also company managers. In northern Europe we find profiles that combines the research and business management. But here, people use to be researcher or business manager, not at the same time and that is precisely what we need, Rocío says.
Dominate technology to sell it better
When we’re talking about a true innovative product, not a copy of other existing products, it is necessary to have people with high level of knowlegde of this technology to develop it and transform it into a commercial product, but also, is necessary to have a business mindset. Is not enough with being a good seller, is also necessary to have a deep knowledge about the technology that the product uses to convince about the benefits of the future product. In this cases, “the selling process is always very technical and we have to dominate the type of product that we are working with”, the expert says.
Venure capital companies focus on helping entrepreneurs to create a company with a solid structure, team and economical resources. Once the product for a specific market segment it is time to step into the second phase with new and bigger investment from other investment funds and experts to help with the commercial view of the product and scalability to adapt it to other market segments.
Most of the entrepreneurs, from 80 to 90 percent, succeed in developing their ideas and the others are able to find help to achive it. Nevertheless, the process to obtain a product that works in the market and provide benefits is full of obstacles, warn Rocío.
First, we have the technological risk: is possible that the technology that we want to use didn’t get to work and we have to accept it. Also, it could be that the company is not big enough and it doesn’t have the capacity to reach the desired market. Other obstacle can be that the developed solution could be wonderful but no one wants to pay for it, that’s what we call market risk. Finally, in each step we have product scalability and execution risk, which means that it doesn’t give the expected results. Nevertheless, we don’t have to be afraid of failure, in the end, we’re talking about venture capital.
The key is always in people. Counting with brilliant creators with the will and courage enough to start thi process with the help and support of venture capital companies, because it is a difficult process. We’re talking about companies developing very innovative products and if they succeed on this, big companies put their sight on them to invest or buy the company in order to use this new technology on their own products.