Find Your Target
Searching for partners and matching technologies with business needs can be like finding a needle in a haystack – difficult and sometimes painful. But the rewards, success and final achievements of a better planet make it well worth the effort.
When reaching out to industry, familiarize yourself with the company's specific interests, submission platform and preferences prior to submitting.
Start with the AUTM Membership Directory to identify and research member companies to streamline connections. The scatter-shot approach can backfire. Identify and reach out first to your target contact and if you're not sure, or would like to try others in your initial approach, copy them on the first email so everyone is aware of the process and no time is wasted forwarding to colleagues internally at the company.
Offer as much information as possible. A good guideline to go by is 80 percent on the technology; 20 percent on the IP status of the research, researchers, institution, etc. – the more experimental data the better. No need to expand on /describe the market. Applications for the technology may be mentioned with supporting data. Include soft copies of publications and links to patents.
Include an enticing subject line in the email to pique interest and easily trace topic. Be bold! First impressions matter and it may be difficult to catch the attention of decision makers inside the company again.
Check Your Target
Don’t send an email and forget about it. There are many reasons why you may not receive an immediate response – message was stopped by firewalls; roles changed internally; traveling for business; looking for the most relevant person. Be sure to follow up. And make sure the person sending the package on behalf of the university will be available 3 months from now to answer questions from the company. Industry and the commercialization process may benefit from direct access to the inventor.
Download these two sample toolkits and start hitting the bullseye.