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June 27, 2012
By Claudene Wharton
Scientists and engineers often come up with innovations for development and want to use them to build their own companies. However, more often than not, they don't have the knowledge they need for converting a technological idea into a thriving business. The Nevada Small Business Development Center at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business has scheduled a nationally recognized expert in guiding companies through technology development into commercialization to present in Reno and Las Vegas next month.
Fred Patterson, president and CEO of The Commercialization Funding Coach, Inc., will give tips to engineers and scientists on how to win federal funding and continue on to commercial success. Patterson has been working with businesses to obtain grants and move from product development into commercialization for more than 40 years. He is a cofounder and executive officer of two of Texas' most successful Small Business Innovation Research grant-winning companies (SPEC and Radiant Photonics).
The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs are federally funded programs that support companies pursuing innovative technologies, awarding $2.5 billion annually in grants. Last year, 14 Nevada companies received grants through these programs. However, those involved in economic development in the state believe that more Nevada companies can successfully compete for these grants. The NSBDC wants to help by offering more assistance to those seeking this funding and bringing in more experts, such as Patterson, to work with them.
Patterson has been involved in the execution of more than 150 of these contracts and grants, helping to secure more than $75 million. In addition, he works with several state technology accelerator initiatives, including the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology and international groups such as The Indus Entrepreneurs. He works with many angel, venture capital and private sector investment sources to refine his trademarked "Funding Readiness Level" index, used to help clients prepare for the challenges of seeking, securing and managing funding for commercialization and growth.
Fritz Grupe is professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business, who manages the program at the NSBDC to assist Nevada businesses interested in accessing funds through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs. He says that the factors that determine success or failure in moving to commercialization are complex, interrelated and sometimes not intuitive.
"This workshop will identify the business planning process everyone who takes this path should follow to maximize the likelihood of success," he said.
The workshop, "Business Planning for Scientists and Engineers," will be offered:
The cost for the workshop is $50 and includes lunch and refreshments. To register, visit Nevada Small Business Training Calendar. For more information, contact Grupe at (775) 813-7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.