This category comprises our partners and companies involved in different aspects of our work with Science Spinoffs. Whether it is planning, analysis, investment, intellectual property or legal matters –they are always on alert to provide you a decent service. Selected and timely proved competence centers provide expertise for project support, acting both as repositories of knowledge and resource pools for multiple business areas. We are absolutely sure that with this team of professionals you, as a Spinoff Founder, will be able to solve any issues and challenges in the scope of their activity faster and for a 100% fair price. Time is one of the most important scarcity resources nowadays, and these companies will help you to save it and receive a planned result.
Exclusive interview for SPINOFF with Mr. John Newlands the Director of City One Securities, the London-based Boutique Private Equity House
City One Securities is a London-based corporate finance house that specialises in raising expansion finance for innovative small cap companies from private investors. It was specially established to meet the funding requirements of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) which rarely receive the securities from banks and other financial institutions. City One's mission is to financially support the quality entrepreneurial businesses at the number of different sectors including energy, med tech, healthcare, food and beverages, fashion etc., adding the significant value and providing investors with the best small cap private equity opportunities. Unlike crowdfunding websites, City One Securities takes a proactive approach to investment. Its highly professional team is dedicated to corporate clients and always available to present appropriate opportunities to enlightened investors as well as to the young phase spinoff companies.
Exclusive interview for SPINOFF with Mr. Sergey Shiyan - co-founder of OSEN web development company from Ukraine
Dear Sergey, thank you very much for dedicating your time to this interview. We would like to start from the overview of your company. Could you please elaborate on the story of its creation and the team?
Perhaps the story of my company is not something extraordinary. Me and my partner, at that time two students of a technical institute in Ukraine, had an idea, knowledge and were passionate to grow in the interesting for us direction. We founded a small IT company. Of course in the beginning of our business we faced certain difficulties, perhaps as many other companies. My partner decided to join a large company and I remained devoted to my own business, and already soon I was able to reap the rewards of my endeavours. I was defined that I had to run a small company with a narrow specialization, as I preferred to go into tiniest details of it, which is not really possible in the companies with big staff. Thus in 2006 a small IT company OSEN was established. We spend a lot of time on professional development of our employees. Our strategy was not to grow in quantity, but rather in quality of our services. Soon we had a lot of customers and enlarged our team, which today totally counts 12 specialists.
That makes sense, Sergey! Could you please describe what does your company specialize on?
Our core, but not the only, service is development of web solutions with the elements of CRM systems. In parallel with it we develop not very complicated from the functional point of view corporate websites and online stores. As a rule we realize the program part and layouts with the usage of graphic designs provided by the customer or templates. We have a huge experience of entering readymade projects and their subsequent development takng into account all the details. OSEN has a special department that handles realization of marketing tasks: general analysis of themes and choice of the promotion strategy depending on the market and budget, SEO promotion, context advertisement, work with social networks and promotion of the YouTube channel. We create what we call it "boutique website development" – a solution totally customized for the needs of our client. Our projects are unique and most likely won’t be repeated by anyone, as they have a very narrow specialization created for the most fussy customers.
Could you please tell us which problem you might solve for spinoff founders and why your company can be helpful for them?
Our company can handle all the amount of work connected with development and promotion of both informational and functional parts of the web source. Apart for giving the general data about the company, principles of its operation and products, the website wil provide the whole complex of interaction among managers and customers and automize management of finances and product functionality to a maximum extent. Let me tell you about the process in general. The customer requests some IT company to create a website for his needs. At this stage the customer communicates with a specialst who accepts the order in the company. Usually these employees have quite a low professional qualification. Already here a customer feels awkward to explain all the smallest details of the project which he doesn’t even understand himself and loses a lot of time checking the progress of his project frequently. Our company can promptly understand the customer’s project and offer him a lot of examples of ready solutions. Usually when we show our customers the technical specification of their projects, they don’t even have what to add! Thus we save a nice time gap for our customers, which they can effectively use for their business. We often joke telling a customer, that he just needs to close his eyes and imagine his future website and its functions – we will do the rest!
Sergey, what were your recent projects? Please kindly share some examples.
Our customers are from different spheres of activity. One of the examples is American Green Power Corporation. It is a privately owned Export Trading Company (ETC) based in Washington, DC and specializes on support of U.S. manufacturers of renewable energy equipment and systems by researching and developing export markets in Eastern Europe. We created a corporate website for this company.
Perhaps one of our brightest examples is SPINOFF.COM platform. At first sight it may seem that it is a simple downloader for articles, however it is not. The website was developed as a boutique project strictly corresponding to the ordered design and functionality. It is very unlikely that some IT development company will copy this project ever.
From your experience which advises and warnings you might give spinoff founders in the sphere of your activity? What mistakes, in some cases even fatal, should they avoid?
We always advise our customers to try already existing solutions for their needs, and customize them if needed. This will help them to save time, which they spend on thinking how their order must look like, create it and then it won’t meet the expectations in the end.
Money is a critical issue for the rising companies. Spinoff founders take into consideration all the expenses. One of the expected questions from them is whether they might receive a discount from your company and under which terms?
Of course! If the project is really interesting and promising – why not? Sometimes the project absorbs us so much that we think about it day and night without extra payment. Otherwise we shall not achieve an excellent result. We always believe that while we are doing a project we must become its fans and feel it better than the customer. Also we offer discounts for the projects, which we continue to service after their completion. Sometimes we deal with very small companies with a restricted budget. Even if they can’t afford development of the customized website, we can always offer a ready solution which will cover at least 70% of their requested functionality and it will cost several times cheaper.
Dear Sergey, SPINOFF.COM founder, our team and I would like to express gratitude for the interview and all provided information. We are happy to introduce you and OSEN IT solutions to our partners and Spinoff Founders worldwide.
Exclusive interview for SPINOFF with Alexander Nesterenko, the Founder and CEO of ARTKB, bureau that designed PetCube, IBlazr and HushMe
ARTKB is a full-cycle hardware product development bureau, which helps companies and start-ups to build their hardware products all over the world. Its offices are located in Kyiv, Ukraine and Shenzhen, China. It has own equipment park with mechanical and electrotechnical laboratory, machining and molding workshop. There are more than 50 projects for startups, private and corporate clients in bureau's portfolio. Vladymyr Khyliuk and Yaroslav Romashko are the co-founders of a well-known Ukrainian hardware development bureau. The partners have been working together at one of the big ventilation systems company before. They have vast experience in encapsulation and electronic packaging of the devices, industrial design, business development and project management which they successfully apply in their bureau.
Exclusive interview for SPINOFF with Mr. Deepak Gupta - founder of patent consulting company PatentYogi in India
PatentYogi is a next generation SMART patent research services company providing high quality Intellectual Property and Innovation support services. The company delivers foremost patent prosecution and litigation searches, patent licensing and infringement analysis, portfolio ranking, patent drafting and competitor benchmarking. Patent Yogi offers innovative and automated solutions, through a variety of in-house developed IP tools that help companies to increase their efficiency and reduce costs involved in patent prosecution and litigation matters. The expertise across varied technology domains helps PatentYogi understand the key challenges faced by the clients enabling them to maximize their businesses potential.
Exclusive interview for SPINOFF with Mr. Alexander Avtuhov - head of business development of Cardpay E-Commerce company from Cyprus
CardPay is a Pan-European regulated financial institution and a Principal Member of MasterCard, Visa and UnionPay. The company provides card acquisition, current accounts and all other related services and are therefore the best possible partners for all Е-Сommerce merchants. With its comprehensive and customized solutions, bespoke service and unparalleled understanding of online business, Cardpay should confidently be your number one choice in helping you grow your business efficiently and securely.
Exclusive interview for SPINOFF with Jonathan Harris, the Editor of Spinouts UK, Young Company Finance
Jonathan Harris is the Editor of Spinouts UK. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, Mr. Harris joined The Ben Line, a Scottish shipping group, and after four years in Japan, he worked with the group’s offshore drilling subsidiary Atlantic Drilling Co Ltd. eventually serving 15 years as director and general manager. In the early 1990s, Jonathan left Ben Line and started working with young companies, in various roles including advisor and interim chief executive. He acquired Young Company Finance (YCF) from its founder Gavin Don, now Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Entrepreneurship Research in November 2000. Since February 2011 YCF’s activities in Scotland have been operated in partnership with LINC Scotland, the business angel capital association, of which Jonathan is a director. LINC Scotland has a membership which includes many active individual investors and most of the main angel groups or syndicates. It represents the members at government level in Edinburgh, London and Brussels. Jonathan has carried out a range of research studies in the young company sector, including the Risk Capital Market in Scotland report for Scottish Enterprise from 2009 onwards.
Exclusive interview for SPINOFF with David Schwartz, Owner, President and CEO at 2Market Information Incorporation
2Market Information Inc. operates as a tech transfer eNews, and national science and business publishing company. Its key focus is on improving technology transfer, the process for moving complex data from discovery to development and ultimately to manufacturing. Well-planned tech transfer shortens timelines, eliminates rework, protects the quality and frees scientists to focus on innovation.
S.O.C.: Dear Mr.Schwartz, thank you very much for taking time for this interview and for the opportunity to share information about you, your team and your activity. I would like to start from the overview of your company entitled 2Market Information Inc where you serve as CEO and Publisher. By now, your company has become the leading independent information provider dedicated to technology transfer and research commercialization specialists. Could you please share with our readers on the story of the creation of the company and of course its team?
Mr. David Schwartz: The company was created 10 years ago in 2008. It began as just a single publication, Technology Transfer Tactics. We saw a niche in this marketplace that we felt needed information to be provided, so we began a publication called Technology Transfer Tactics. The idea was to provide very practical how-to information to tech transfer professionals. It was something we felt was missing in the marketplace. And it was very well received.
So, we began there, with that single publication. And it is completely subscribers-supported, there is no advertising or anything like that. It’s all subscription-based. We’re basically waiting for a reader trying to determine what they need in terms of information and then proving it. Hopefully, it’s all very usable information that they can take into their operations and ultimately succeed more in commercializing their intellectual property. So, that’s where it’s started.
Then we began to create webinars, which started out as just a couple of webinars a year and grew quickly. Today, we do about 45 different live webinars every year. Then we also created an archive of all those which is now go over 300 separate programs that we offer. It is also a part of our All Access Pass, which allows universities and others to essentially subscribe and have any-time access on demand to all of those programs as they occur. So, webinars are another aspect of what we are doing.
We also created a number of different partnerships with other information providers. We’re offering similarly focused publications, services or databases, anything that would, you know, deliver the information for tech transfer mission that we have. We created a lot of partnerships where we started using our database which in essence is a very major focus of the company. Our database is somewhere around 150 thousand research commercialization professionals around the world. Our company has definitely a global footprint. So we began to use that database for outside products as well, thinking that we would want to expand our own offerings to this small niche that we had. That also did very well.
So we had the webinars, partnership products, publication, and we started to create our own secondary products, sort of one offerings, like the Best Practice Compendium, libraries of special reports, and things like that. It just kept growing and we kept increasing our offerings. That was when we launched our web portal called Tech Transfer Central, which sort of brought it all together under one roof and created what we feel is a really strong presence in the marketplace, where people (whoever needs information in this market) can come and pretty much find whatever they need right there on our page. It stands from our single product, single report all the way up to a big sign license or All Access Pass for universities where they have access to everything that we do in terms of publications and webinars.
And then most recently we launched a new publication called Industry-Sponsored Research Management, which is also doing very well. It has slightly different focus: while Tech Transfer deals more with licensing and protecting intellectual property in startups, Industry-Sponsored Research Management is really for those corporate engaging and industry liaisons within universities who are charged with developing deep and successful partnerships with industry. That’s pretty much where we are right now.
So huge amount of services and opportunities for spinoff founders to take and use. If we define your specialty, it is technology transfer, but to be more specific what does it include? What aspects of technology transfer do all your services, including webinars, publications, web portal, cover?
They certainly cover startups, a major part of your audience. We have things like the Start-up Boot Camp, which is a very extensive 21 program webinar series that covers everything, soup to nuts, that a startup would want in terms of everything, from planning for the exit to protecting your IP and working with outside vendors etc. It’s just a very deep set of webinars that we’ve put together into this Boot Camp series. It is primarily important to university startups.
We don’t particularly focus on startups that are just out of the community and sort of on their own. What we really focus mostly on is startups that are spinning out of the university. Other topics that we cover are patents and patent infringement, protecting your intellectual property, licensing, negotiation of licenses, staffing, etc. I mean, if you can just imagine any topic within tech transfer that is a challenge for the people in that arena, we do cover it, one way or another: whether in the coverage that we provide, in our publications, or our webinars.
If speaking roughly, could you name the first tool out of your services a spinoff founder should consider when he is thinking about technology transfer?
I would say, the first one is what I’ve just mentioned, the Start-up Boot Camp. That is an extremely valuable collection. It has extensive comments from something like 50 experts around the world. It comes with all the handout materials. It’s very comprehensive, so I would definitely recommend that. As far as the second one, I guess I would say that the best thing we could offer aside from the Boot Camp is Tech Transfer Central web portal. On our website, we have everything broken out topicly, and one of the breakouts is “Start-Ups”. If you look at the “Start-Ups” tab on the website, there are dozens of individual programs and publications related specifically for startups. I couldn’t really pick one out of those, but I would say, as a way of navigating, at our portal I would start at a “Start-Ups” tab.
From your point of view, what problem or problems your company and services might solve for a founder of a spinoff?
Primarily, they can overcome what is typically fairly incomplete understanding of the entire startup challenge. There are things that people don’t really think about, particularly when the founder is, for example, a researcher or a faculty member. They don’t know a whole lot about the specifics of, for example, evaluation of a company or how to market your startup most effectively, how to work with outside partners, like IP attorneys, or how to protect their intellectual property most efficiently, what issues you have as a faculty member with conflicts of interests that you have to watch out for.
There are dozens and dozens of issues related to startups that a lot of people don’t really consider or don’t fully understand. They might understand a little bit, for example, about the patent issues and how those are handled, but nothing about what kind of equity you might offer in exchange for a license, some of the ways to reduce your uprun expenses while you’re growing by working with the university to defer those expenses. I mean, there are so many aspects of being a spinoff out of a university that unless you have a very top-level executive who comes in and takes over from the start, you’re not going really have a full appreciation for many of these intricacies. So that’s a lot what our publications and webinars can offer as knowledge creation for these early-stage startups, anticipating some of the challenges and overcoming them.
In the video, you can find a number of technology transfer professionals talking about other challenges that need to be addressed before bringing research out of the laboratory and of turning it into applications.
Thank you, that is an important piece of information. Mr. Schwartz, considering your over 23-year experience in scientific and other publishing and about 10 in tech transfer field, what advice and warnings you might give spinoff founders in the sphere of your activity? What mistakes, possibly even fatal, should they avoid?
I think, one of the mistakes that many founders make is trying to grow too fast and seeing venture capital as the Holy Grail. It can be a very important aspect of growth, but I think a lot of startup founders put that cart before the horse. You have to focus on the business itself, the viability of it, the market acceptance, the essentials of business creation making sure your business is scalable, that it has the real needs of its customers cemented into its fiber. Those are the things that, I think, startups should be focused on and I think too many get sidetracked on the financial side. Of course, it’s very important, but sometimes it’s better to bootstrap than, first of all, lose all of your equity to a venture capital partner, then become miserable (because your venture capital partners are demanding all kinds of performance), and more important lose the heart and soul of the company (because it becomes driven by the financials rather than by the need of the customer). That is the main thing, I would point out.
We totally agree. Those are good tips to follow! The last but not the least point to discuss is a critical issue for the rising companies, namely money. Spinoff founders take into consideration all the expenses. One of the expected questions from them is whether they might receive a discount from your company and under which terms?
There isn’t a good way for us to provide an across-the-board discount, since many of our partners would limit it by the partnership agreement that we can’t just discount a product without their permission. So some of the products we offer cannot be discounted. All the products that we produce ourselves, for example, our webinars, Boot Camps, distance learning collections and our own publications, can be discounted.
Thank you for the information we can share with our partners among science spinoff teams. Personally, I am convinced you are doing an amazing job in tech transfer field. SPINOFF.COM team wishes you to move forward with your useful activities. Hope the spinoff founders find the services of your company beneficial.