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Opportunity NOW PPT presentation

Case Study

Apply for Free Six Week Idea to Market Analysis with Tech 2020Deadline Extended


UTRF launches its first “Opportunity NOW Idea to Market Analysis” event.

Opportunity NOW featured speakers from Tech 2020; Shawn Carson, Director of Venture Development, and Kevin Kragenbrink, CEO, as well as UTRF Vice President, Stacey Patterson. In excess of sixty people filled the Dwight Kessel auditorium at UTK on Tuesday, June 2nd for the event. The audience included local business people, as well as UT faculty, staff, and students. Those attending were invited to learn more about the resources offered at UTRF , entrepreneurship, and the opportunity to apply for proof of concept funding up to $20,000. The benefits of working with UTRF, available resources, and explaination of the technology transfer process at the University of Tennessee were coverd by UTRF’s Stacey Patterson.

“We are delighted by the turnout of potential entrepreneurs, UT faculty, and students, and other interested area business people. We look forward to working with many of the participants to help take their ideas to the marketplace.”

Dr. Stacey Patterson

Kevin Kragenbrink discussed “Pathways to Commercialization”. He constructed a sequential path from “proof of concept” to revenue, explored the options of startups versus licensing, and addressed common questions regarding each path.

“We want to help researchers and entrepreneurs understand how we go through the process of idea to product and turn that into a way to make money. How does all of that happen?”

Kevin Kragenbrink

Who is the customer base? What is important to the people you are trying to reach? Who do you NOT want to address? Shawn Carson addressed these questions and more as he described the importance of “Customer Value”. He explained that customer perception, customer pain (a problem severe enough to motivate a change in behavior), customer delight, and ROI all worked together to form the “Value Proposition”. Carson also spoke about the ”Value Chain”, “Market Segmentation”, and “Profit & Scalability”.

“Whenever I meet an entrepreneur the first time, I ask these questions {about the potential customer},– who would buy the product, why they would buy it, and what they would pay. It comes down to value.”

Shawn Carson

Lastly, attendees were invited to experience “Idea to Market Analysis” firsthand as Carson illustrated concepts he had presented with an actual case study and audience interaction. The event concluded with presentation of door prizes. A Vol Shop gift basket, with an autographed football by Butch Jones, went to Kimberly Hood, director of communications at the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Dr. Reza Hajimorad from the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department won an Apple iPad Air.


Related Article by Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.