This course will be held by our currently appointed Fulbright Professor Mark Johnson.
Technology based entrepreneurs are faced with significant challenges that if successfully addressed represent strong competitive advantages. In addition to operational risk and market risks, the defining risk of a technology start-up is the underlying question: does the tech work? For most software based start-ups, these risks are mitigated through human talent as coders. However, for the physical science based start-up, the initial stages of entrepreneurship often involves additional R&D as the underlying discovery or invention requires additional or ancillary technology advancement before it can be viably integrated in a marketable product. In this course, the unique challenges and risks of technology R&D within an entrepreneurial firm are examined and strategies for minimizing technical risk while maximizing economic opportunity are explored. After taking this course, a student should be able to systematically evaluate the risks related a new technology discovery and establish strategies and actions to most effectively harness technology as a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This course should be particularly relevant to students with a background or prior degree in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) discipline, although specific or specialized STEM-based knowledge would not be required. The new knowledge gained in this course should prepare students for technical leadership roles in science-based entrepreneurial firms and technology innovation organizations.
Week 1: New Technology in Context: the Technology-Product-Market Value Paradigm
Week 2: Ideation of a Market Opportunity: the Problem Statement and the Value Proposition
Week 3: Testing Against the Future: Voice of the Customer before Product Development
Week 4: Asking Better Questions: Voice of the Customer, Again.
Week 5: Techno-Economic Analysis 1: Costs in Context of a Product
Week 6: Techno-Economic Analysis 2: Sensitivity Analysis and Technology Gaps
Week 7: The First Prototype: When is the Tech Good Enough and Learning by Doing
Week 8: Mid-Term Examination and Assessment
Week 9: Intellectual Property: Patents and Trademarks – Securing and Litigating
Week 10: Innovating Faster and More Efficiently: Heilmeyer Questions for R&D Management
Week 11: Selecting a Final Project: Identifying Opportunity
Week 12: Innovators Dilemma Revisited: Technology Based Product-Market Disruption
Week 13: Business Model Strategy and Technology Innovation: Buy, Build, Sell or Fold
Week 14: Identifying Technical Talent: Recruit the Best to Your Team
Week 15: Partnerships: Technology Eco-Systems to Lower Cost and Time of Innovating
Week 16: Final Project Presentation and Discussion