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NEXUS-NY helps research-derived innovations find commercial success

NEXUS-NY works with scientists who want to actively explore the commercial potential of their research-derived, energy innovations.

We improve the likelihood of commercial success through our financial & business support and by providing a structured commercialization process. Since its inception, NEXUS-NY has worked with 39 business discovery teams (mostly university-based pre-ventures and the occasional pre-seed company). To date, we’ve helped launch 19 startup companies, 12 have raised more than $18.1M in follow-on funding. 5 of our alumni have achieved the most important early milestone – the sale of products to paying customers!

Scientific innovation has the potential to significantly improve the human condition. Unfortunately, most research-derived innovations languish due to inadequate resources and insufficient commercialization expertise. What if there was a better way to rigorously test the commercial potential of scientific innovations and to accelerate the most promising ones? At NEXUS-NY, we work with Sciencepreneurs to do just that.

NEXUS-NY Sciencepreneurs share or aspire towards several common traits:

–        They recognize commercialization is a full contact sport. They are willing to get out of their labs to actively engage, and learn from potential customers and industry participants.

–        They enjoy learning about problems just as much as they like developing solutions.

–        They recognize that commercial solutions require more than just “better technology.” Customers are seeking solutions which directly address significant business drivers without adding disproportionate business risk and without unduly affecting upstream or downstream processes.

–        They invent cool things which promise a step function improvement as compared to existing and other emerging solutions. They endeavor to understand the technology and IP landscapes and can easily cite their unique and compelling advantage(s).

–        They recognize the inherent biases which accompany scientific discovery (see confirmation bias). They actively look for and listen for reasons why their innovation might not achieve commercial success.

–        They know we all have personal limitations and blind spots. They actively and enthusiastically engage those with complementary skills.

–        They are good story-tellers. They enjoy talking about their technology and can explain their science and its benefits to technical and non-technical audiences alike.

Over the past few years we’ve learned a lot about how, and how not, to accelerate the commercialization of research-derived innovations. In this series of blog posts, I will highlight our key findings so as to help scientists determine whether to join us; and in hope that other organizations might benefit from our successes and mistakes.