Technology innovations and new ventures

The role of ecosystems in coping with challenges
Somnath Chatterjee Well managed technology innovations can trigger rapid growth in new ventures leading to higher value addition, income and employment generation. To ensure early success, however, technology starts-ups need to rely on robust business models, processes and practices that would lead to effective risk mitigation. Failure rates can bring down through customer-centric innovations and a shorter time-to-time market. Against this scenario, the role of all-encompassing ecosystems to catalyze technology innovations can be critical in spawning new ventures that are commercially viable. Case studies show that the risks and uncertainties in converting innovations to commercial enterprises can be reduced by efficient ecosystems. Introduction Alongside the complete dismantling of customs tariff and entry barriers, the new genre of technology entrepreneur is faced with shorter product cycles as well as a stricter IP (Intellectual Property) regime. All this calls for robust business models and practices that are effectively integrated with global market dynamics to mitigate risk factors and develop closer links with the markets. Hence, the technology entrepreneur, grapping with quick commercialization and viable scaling-up operations, is bound to face a host of challenges. Nevertheless, technology-based innovations and knowledge entrepreneurs will shape the future trajectory of Indian Industry, which needs to grow by 11 per cent during the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-03 to 2006-07) and beyond to sustain a GDP growth of 8 per cent. This also calls for significant rise in value added by Indian Industry, from $ 139 billion to $ 302 billion between 2003 and 2010, a magnitude of tasks never attempted before. Besides, India has to ride the next outsourcing wave for manufactured goods, estimated to exceed $ 1.6 trillion. While IT and other services had been propelling economic growth, there is now a dire need to gear up manufacturing to remain competitive and to meet the enormous requirement of employment generation. This would be possible partly through a series of technology innovations in diverse sectors fuelling the growth of several new ventures and entrepreneurs. Thus it would be absolutely necessary quickly to put in place an ecosystem for nurturing and managing innovations. It is, therefore, not surprising to find an orchestrated effort the globe to fine-tune existing ecosystems and create new ones. In India, The Department of Science and Technology (DST) pioneered the creation of such ecosystems, primarily in the public domain, through collaboration with academic, research and technology institutions by promoting Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Parks (STEPs). In more recent times, professionals, technologists, entrepreneurs and other start-up agencies have been trying to come together to manage and hand-hold new ventures, Interestingly, there are several private initiatives coming up today. Apart from some limited private incubators, Venture Capitalists (VCs) and funding agencies are exploring possibilities of introducing start-up services (mentoring and consulting on

validation. VC. IPR management. pilots. SPA Product development (seed funding. design. IPR)) Viable commercialization and test-mile-to-the-market. STEP. strategies.business plans. etc. Fast moving and operational business model Converting risk into opportunity Figure 2 : Journey from idea to marketplace Labs and tech nurseries Basic R & D Invention & Innovation Early stage development (reaching prototype stage) TBI. .) along with their usual financing package offered to new ventures. Figure 1 : Technology innovations – Reality check in the marketplace Proven Idea Concept-made reality with customer-centric approach. best test. Strategic partnerships amongst various start-up agencies are also in the offing.

the consumer electronics division of Philips was under tremendous pressure to quickly recover its high R & D expenses in DVD technology products before the Chinese began extensive mass manufacturing. is usually quite divorced from market realities and secluded from potential customers as well as investors. ending with the prototype. Following basic R & D to prototype development in laboratories and tech nurseries. Risks and uncertainties in technology ventures are often too high. enhancing the success rate of projects and leading to rapid growth of customer base and better prospects of early stage funding from investors. In the next phase. checking out and verifying the effectiveness of the business models will eventually ensure converting risks into opportunities in the marketplace (Figure 1). competency building to address the last-mile-to-themarket phase assumes great significance. Several technology products backed by massive R & D spending are now swiftly becoming commodities. Much of these competencies are lacking in TBIs and STEPs. Well-designed ecosystems can hasten the journey from the idea to the marketplace. SPA : Start-up professionals and agencies The innovator. Well designed ecosystems should provide the techno-commercial support for the economic success of the project. with prices plummeting to rock bottom levels. Time-to-market needs to be reduced drastically with customer-centric innovations and faster response to opportunities. To create business opportunity from an idea. . business schools. Customer-centric project management and business processes are the risk mitigation tools for new technology ventures. But the test of a good innovation is economic and not technological. through early stage technology development through product development. well conceived customer-centric project management milestones are absolutely necessary. Proving the idea and making the concept a customer-centric reality are essential pre-requisites for early stage progress towards successful commercialization. The last mile to the market continues to be the biggest stumbling block.Managing technology innovations Given the high historic failure rates. being too preoccupied with specifics. which can play a dominant role by collaborating with start-up professionals. Figure 2 attempts to provide a schematic presentation of this journey from idea to marketplace. through concept or invention. Innovation failure rates are rising as India’s traditional ecosystems are geared to address the first phase. For instance. VCs and entrepreneurs. reality checks have to be conducted. For the success of both product as well as process innovations. and some beta testing. Success stories in labs and even at pilot stage do not imply ensured acceptance at the marketplace. taking technology innovations to the marketplace to spawn viable commercial ventures is widely acknowledged as a most challenging proposition. along with robust business processes and practices to hasten the pace of commercialization. These eliminate the R & D-market disconnect. There are several stages till idea reaches the marketplace – from basic R & D. the most crucial role thereafter is played by technology management till the last mile to the market is successfully traversed. Hence.

funding and other enabling agencies. . infrastructure. China is moving ahead with incubators to stimulate the private sector and encourage technology-based start-ups led by technology professionals. government funding. incubators. Countries like Australia. Silicon Valley (SV) benchmarking To address the challenges of technology innovations and to encourage technopreneurs. effective ecosystems should ensure net inflow of talent and resources. USA. Enabling resources for this rapid progress from idea. with members of the Stanford University community in the silicon valley area founding over 1200 companies. There are essential prerequisites for grooming and managing technology innovations. including parts of Africa and Latin America. Professional bodies like India US Entrepreneurs (TIE) And IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association) are expected to take forward these initiatives. innovation or invention to an enterprise for generating wealth ad creating new economic activities would become absolutely necessary. Germany. identifying business opportunities and tapping them. the Taiwanese ecosystem encouraged the return of diaspora with tremendous government support. finance and technology development. etc. is acknowledged as probably the best known ecosystem for technology innovation. France. Now Stanford Asia technology Initiative is exploring the prospect of exporting the Silicon Valley ecosystem to India and developing links with Indian professionals and aspiring technology entrepreneurs. for which around 350 are technology-based. from idea to viable enterprise. Sweden and other parts of Europe. R & D labs. incubators are being promoted across the world.) and ready access to technology networks and the professional community of start-up professionals. Many of these technology companies have quickly grown into giant enterprises driving the global market. tooling centers. This is quite evident. Knowledge and technology hubs. Incubators have catalyzed technology commercialization and spawned business enterprises in the UK. Apart from providing infrastructure and an enabling policy environment for entrepreneurial culture. Incubators are seen as playing a vital role for regional development through training of entrepreneurs. Japan and Korea and parts of the Asia Pacific are also witnessing a rise in the incubator movement. technology parks (in academic institutions and elsewhere) are part of the typical ecosystem for technology start-ups. technology part. infrastructure. A typical ecosystem comprises a variety of resources. like infrastructure (start-up workspace and related facilities.Ecosystems Effective and all-encompassing ecosystems are not only the launching pad for innovations but also provide support through the entire value chain. especially those returning home after a stint in technology ventures in the USA. are increasingly relying on incubators for income and employment generation through new business ventures. For instance. World Bank’s Infodev programme promotes ecosystems and programmes with such ICI initiatives. Silicon Valley in California. institutions. strengthening the existing ecosystems. New Zealand. lab. connecting technology to the marketplace. The developing world. testing. Many developing countries are focusing on the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) based ecosystem to promote new and innovative ventures.

addressing the entire value chain from idea to enterprise. Stanford provided a rent free lab.Before closely evaluating the Indian scenario with some case studies. radar plus microwave radiation evolved. Sigurd and Russel Varian worked rent free in the Stanford lab on their Klystron tube and later on. Lockheed spurred the growth of others like IBM (1952). and Stanford Industrial Park offering start-up facilities and defence programmes to stimulate massive semiconductor procurements. NASA (1958). Silicon Valley (SV) ecosystems – Major milestones over the past 100 – years 1891 1920s Standard University founded by Governor Leland Stanford nearby ‘El Palo Alto’ Stanford hired top East Coast faculty including Frederick Terman from MIT – the father of Silicon Valley. with Hewlett and Packard being one of them. Major developments like Stanford Research Institute. it would be most useful to learn from a snapshot of the major milestones of the SV ecosystem. Fairchild led to start-ups like Intel Signetics (now Phillips Semiconductors). Professor of Physics. Lockheed Aerospace Co. teamed with Sigurd and Russel Varian to develop the Klystron tube. Silicon comes to the valley. Stanford graduate Shockley founded Shockley Transistor. William Hansen. $ 100 for supplies and in return. located in the park and a year later in Sunnyvale. grooming and managing technology innovations. It is apparent that the SV ecosystem offered all the elements for nurturing. 1937 1945 1946-56 1956 onwards . Student start-ups. Robert Noyce leaves Shockley to join 7 others (Gordon Moore and others) to start Fairchild Semiconductor choosing Silicon as semi conducting material. Xerox (1970). who encouraged his students to start companies near Stanford to stop migration to the East Coast for Jobs. shared profits bringing several millions as royalties. National Semiconductors and AMD.

Received support from Government R&D. minimal corporate secrecy. Cisco and Netscape making dent in the marketplace followed by Google and Ebay.1958 1970s 1975 onwards 1990s till now Formation of the biology and chemistry business From specialized high-tech to massproduction. Made a conscious and concerted effort to evolve as a knowledge and technology hub. . Cisco ships first products in 1986. Success factors Some useful lessons can be learnt from this success. IBM enters PC market in big way from 1982 and HP in 1980. Usage of WWW began to grow exponentially from 1993 and this continues… WWW changes ICT world with the change from ‘client / server’ to ‘web applications’. and Had Stanford and others in Silicon Valley developing resources for encouraging best practices in entrepreneurship and evolving new models. Created a strong stimulus for starting tech-based firms. Underwent a cultural transformation facilitating technologists to emerge as manager. Internet becomes “hot” in early 1990s with the development of browser but origins found in 1964. which triggered new enterprises and start-ups. Intel introduces 1k DRAM chip. Found large-scale demand for technology projects and ongoing R&D. Intel chip becomes the industry standard and prices crash. Silicon valley to internet valley. Silicon Valley gets its name in 1971. New revolution continues with Sun. Evolved an environment for networking. Gained immensely as academia led by Stanford shed functional rigidities to actively encourage and create new ventures. 16 companeis producing cheap 16 k DRAMs (1979). 4 K DRAMs (1974). and free flow of knowledge and talented people. SV : • • • • • • • • • • Provided an ideal setting for hi-tech innovations and entrepreneurship. PC revolution. Ensured access to extensive VC funding and other sources of finance (including angels). spurred by Defence procurements.

The involvement of VCs. all these agencies have to work in tandem with a multitude of labs under the aegis of government. Figure 3 makes an attempt to present an allencompassing and effective ecosystem for taking technology innovations to the market. The lacunae in the existing ecosystem can be seen. with some occasional interest. including CSIR (Council of Scientific and industrial Research) and those in the private domain. as well as various educational institutions. Here we need to provide a much greater emphasis for commercializing technology innovations. start-up agencies. including student or faculty ventures and those jointly floated by student-faculty teams. including the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology). technology entrepreneurs and so on. New ventures in technology-based innovations across India originate from : • • • • • • Professionals in technology hubs and hi-tech corporates in India. Technologists in government labs and research institutes. Indian professionals in technology hubs and hi-tech corporates abroad (a recent trend). start-up professionals and knowledge entrepreneurs with technology hubs in the country remains casual. India’s over 35 TBIs and STEPs and more than a dozen EDCs (Entrepreneurship Development Centers) supported by DST are located in engineering colleges and in science and technology institutes.Emerging trends in India With the SV benchmarks before us. This could be an emerging trend but India has to do a lot of catching up. Now IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) and business schools are joining in to provide managerial inputs to technology startups by setting up incubators. IPR holders. Unlike SV and other successful ecosystems. Thus. To reinvigorate the Indian ecosystem for promoting new technology ventures. Active exchanges of ideas and expertise are absolutely . In most cases. academia-industry interface is weak. Offshoots from academics. The focus has to be on spawning enterprises with proprietary knowledge and IPs (Intellectual Property) and hi-tech manufacturing to move up the value chain. There could be overlaps among the above sources but what really matters is the continuous intermingling of professionals and innovators within an all-encompassing and robust ecosystem. hence the ecosystems need to promote a collaborative approach. Currently. appears to be the main drawback. But a traditional approach so far with very little focus on the last mile to the market. it is obvious that India needs to move beyond the Bangalore cliché and reach out for an all-encompassing and effective ecosystem addressing the entire value chain from idea to enterprise. There are diverse sources of technology-based innovations. resources for start-up best practices are not available and the network for promoting new ventures is not well-integrated. angels. several key success factors are often missing and a great deal of collaborative initiative is necessary among diverse agencies for quickly moving ideas to enterprise and ushering in an environment that stimulates technology innovations. VCs law firms. and Technology business incubators and technology parks.

. under taken by Subodh Bhat and Richard McCline of San Francisco State University. For instance. This survey highlights that Indian hi-tech ventures are primarily located in urban areas and are yet to percolate into rural area. There is a growing breed of high net-worth knowledge entrepreneurs scouting for “investmentready” technologies. The real assessment of market potential of technology innovations could come from the entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs in hi-tech areas are widely dispersed amongst communities. implying there is a lot of catching up to be done. IT services are estimated to be miniscule 3 per cent of the 53 per cent share of services in India’s GDP. the innovator or technology owner (IP holders and so on) may not be interested manufacturing or mass production or commercialization. which will reduce the time to market. could be of specific interest. There is also an urgency for new entrepreneurship models to manage technology innovations. The influence of a good ecosystem can bring about a transformation in this scenario. Professionals and knowledge entrepreneurs with experience of successfully managing technology start-ups have to be critical players in the Indian ecosystem. entrepreneurship curricula in educational institutes – engineering colleges and business schools – are stimulating young aspirants to seriously explore technology startups. In this context. Hitech entrepreneurs do not think internationally as the world being their market. hi-tech companies have not bothered to build brands. Entrepreneurs driving technology innovation It is imperative to have the entrepreneur as the driver. Despite the existence of TI and IVCA for some time. especially those involving manufacturing with longer gestation period. the 2004 survey of hi-tech entrepreneurs in India. when business ventures were confined to only a few communities and run by families.necessary so that the innovator is not working in isolation from the market reality. in many cases. and have slim IP holdings in the IT sector. where the entrepreneur takes all necessary preemptive measures for startup risk mitigation and ensures timely implementation of business processes and best practices. considering the profile of innovators and the sources of innovation high lighted above. This is quite apparent. progress has been tardy. IT-enabled services and other low risk ventures. The vast intellectual capital in India is hardly tapped to encourage technology ventures. Besides. unlike the earlier era. Moreover. the innovator may also like to partner with an entrepreneur. Far more important than “pushing” innovations to the market is “customer pull” for technology innovations. Indian hi-tech start-ups are not engaged in “real” high-tech. And many these IT services are not “hi-tech”. It is clear that knowledge entrepreneurs can drive innovation and yet not much is happening. A bunch of new venture specialists with “hands-on” start-up experience in Silicon Valley and elsewhere are now showing interest in volunteering to mentor and fund technology start-ups. VCs and private equity funds have been shy of technology ventures. Barring BPOs. Also. a major cause of failure and delay in reaching the marketplace. This focus is usually lacking within the present Indian ecosystem.

consulting and mentorship from domain experts. office space and infrastructure along with start-up office support systems covering administration. STEPs. for quickly taking the technology to the marketplace). operational models. etc. Making hi-tech innovations and projects “investor-ready”. incubators focused on real estate. strategic managerial inputs and networks happen to be the clinching factors for new ventures and incubators need to focus on them. there has been a perceptible shift in demand for incubator resources for spawning viable commercial ventures. etc. investors. entrepreneurs. R&D centers and proactive corporate organizations. Incubator challenges and best practices Since the mid-1940s. . Clearly. Faced with ensuring challenges to reduce failure rates and time-to-market. Traditionally. the demand for incubator resources are primarily confined to start-up advisory services. processes and practices. Firms) Enterprise (with customer centric approach and shorter time to market Innovator support system Academia.Figure 3 : Ecosystems for commercializing technology innovations Entrepreneurs – (especially from user industry seeking new technologies) Tech labs Design house & IPR support Commercial Exports Investors and VCS Domain Experts Government Agencies Legal forms and other startup agencies Innovation (from diverse sources) Incubator (academic and tech institutions. TBIs. when the first formally known incubator came up. business plans. and pvt. the incubation movement worldwide has traveled a long way. secretarial functions. networks (comprising technologists. govt. VCs investors and successful entrepreneurs are on the agenda (Figure 4). idea generators. with support services like training. Currently.

Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at the Indian Institute of Management. Accurate evaluation of customer perception and commercialization potential. validation and valuation. and Right sequencing of startup activities for catalyzing the process of converting innovations into viable commercial enterprises. the technology innovations are converted into well-defined projects with a proactive team designed to work around . Case Studies Project management at IIMA To reduce he cycle time for converting innovations into commercial enterprises. Business acceleration can be ensured inter alia through the following : • • • Technology benchmarking. An “anytime-anywhere” scouting and screening of hi-tech and mass impact innovations by the Centre for Innovation. How to develop best practices for effective technology start-up risk management is discussed in more detail in the last section of this article. Following screening and selection. entrepreneurs and other start-up enabling agencies The impending challenges of managing hi-tech innovations makes it imperative for incubators and other new venture support systems to develop resources for focusing on two major areas: (a) business acceleration and (b) risk mitigation. incubators and start-up promoters need robust systems and processes for on-line scouting and screening. long gestations (with high burnout rates) for technology development and stabilization. VCs/investors. The risk mitigation exercises is primarily to cope with the uncertainties and high failure rates of new ventures based on technology innovations.Figure 4 : Shift in demand for incubator resources Real estate office space and infrastructure. along with administrative and secretarial support services Strategic managerial inputs addressing the entire value chain from customer-centric ideas to viable commercial enterprises Networking comprising technologists. acceptance in the market and attaining the mass production stage are essentials. Hence. Ahmedabad has reduced cycle time.

startup advisors. the evolution of best practices for startups and the creation of a panel of project managers. The pooling of complementary assets and skills. entrepreneurs. strong linkages are developed with technology hubs. and legal experts in the project time. Branded as INFLO. investors. An extensive customer survey and interactive sessions with users were crucial to find quick market acceptance and to work on product features. There are also specific subprojects assigned to selected groups for managing them. this microprocessorcontrolled device with high levels of accuracy is used to monitor the infusion flow rate for patients being administered saline. research scholars in private labs. A competitive price. this Infusion flow years of development. Thereafter. nanomaterial applications. suppliers (to develop supply chain links). Partnership with government is accompanied by extensive outreach programmes and a promotional campaign. An entrepreneur closely associated with the user industry was brought in by CIIE at IIMA during the . based on sensor and microprocessor technology is now solving a major long pending customer problem at the most competitive prices. including product upgradation through design and other specification based on customer feedback collected through clinical trials. ceramic casting. Sources of technology includes CSIR labs. self-employed professionals. managerial and technical inputs are offered by domain experts.them. as well as trials at various hospitals. CIIE is now striving for a highly responsive ecosystem to attract technology ventures and hit-tech entrepreneurs. engineering college students and medical professionals. For the selection of technology projects. the commercial application and direct customer feedback are assigned significant weightages. This innovative product was highly in demand and the innovator worked closely with the market. defence labs. depending on the needs of the project. IIT faculty-student initiatives. Some of the projects selected and managed by the Centre include biotechnology (an innovative low-cost process technology to produce agents for DNA analysis). This team is expected to set properly sequenced milestones for various activities. technopreneurs. investors and other startup resources. using sensors and microprocessors). the novelty (IP generation) value. entrepreneurs. It is critical to have direct and indirect involvement of the user industry (players within India and the global market). Developed and patented by innovator Sanjiv S. Gokhale. The IIMA incubator managed by CIIE provided a wide range of support. legal experts and entrepreneurs are high in the agenda. testing and continuous improvement. distribution channels and other requirements. an IT solution for education process management. IIMA experience with projects Two specific cases of technology innovations presented here pertain to hi-tech as well as mass-impact innovations. mentors and consultants during special sessions. technologies. prices. Right from the outset. an eco friendly technology for dyeing textiles and water purification. blood or any other fluid. or VCs. health electronics (the monitoring of fluids administered to patients. An infusion flow-rate monitor. investors. low operating costs and a long life cycle makes it an alternative to the expensive influence monitoring devices that exist in the market. substantial value addition and more crucially.

The second case is that of a patented technology for water filtration. Early stage competencies The new entrepreneurship model for managing technology innovations calls for developing early stage competencies. the penetration rate of this technology should increase rapidly. CIIE also prepared a business plan and strategy for this venture. INFLO will be pushed in 30 export markets. who finally became the lead partner to quickly take the technology to the marketplace. the equation may not work unless significant commercial value is realized. Apart from the domestic market. Setting the right milestones. The product was quickly licensed out to entrepreneurs. With these modifications. which came out of a government lab with the enthusiastic backing of a team of scientists. managing IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) is a strategic issue. the innovator has to proceed with the costly process of patent filing. Since an innovator has to shell out around $ 3. 50 per cent of patents filed in the USA and Europe are not maintained. Hence. Much valuable insight on market dynamics came from this entrepreneur. For a typical technology start-up venture. Assessing the commercial value of an innovation alongside proper prior art search would be necessary before deciding on patent filing. only 3 per cent have had any active association with a business venture. it is noteworthy that of the 43 million patents filed till date.800 on average for filing a global patent. evaluating periodically and properly sequencing activities are often the keys to success. a proper mechanism for cost-benefit analysis of patenting must be in place. thus shortening the time to market. Valuation of the new venture also provides a sense of direction in terms of future discounted cash flows. Conclusion : Strategies and a working model for managing technology innovations IPR strategy For technology innovations.early stages of the project for mentoring as well as other forms of active association. this could be done in two phases: . Moreover. It is crucial to make a quick beginning with the new venture by analyzing critical business processes and mapping best practices. Proper valuation of the patent can attract early investment and also involve other stakeholders in the project. The business plan and the commercialization strategy for this innovative product prepared by CIIE suggest tremendous scope for design improvement and weight reduction using substitute materials to bring costs further down. To avoid infringement and yet commercially exploit the IP flowing from the technology. In this context. “Patent” has no meaning without a business context and a commercialization value. identifying and building startup competencies happen to be the major tasks for hi-tech volumes. followed by process documentation with regular fine-tuning. The innovator team was well aware of the growing need for such a product and focused on its cost advantage as well as certain robust features that suited market requirements.

Design IPR management Certifications and customer endorsements Final product development and customization Operational business plan Seed fund and cash flow management For creating new ventures 1. Phase II : Business development by scanning. fine tuning product development and supply chain management. an appropriate weightage can be assigned to each activity at all the four stages. 3. the following checklist of processes and practices can provide a working model with some guidelines (though variations are expected from case to case). HR. The emphasis on processes and practices results in risk mitigation. This is followed by valuation. 2. depending on the type of risk involved at each stage as the new venture evolves through various stages of metamorphosis. design. IPR management. The checklist and risk management tables are useful guidelines but the list is meant to be illustrative and not comprehensive. 4.Phase I : Customer survey. 2. Supply chain management and sourcing strategy (in-house versus outsourcing) Fund raising / resource mobilization drive Organizational structure. governance and crisis management guidelines Documentation of processes and best practices To develop a risk mitigation model for technology-based startups. financials. 6. which is the major concern for technology-based start-ups. Based on experience gathered from wide ranging cases of technology innovations and new ventures. demanding specific activities an practices associated with these stages. segmenting and driving the market to connect with the business plan. Process and practice of technology innovations For technology licensing 1. Depending on the nature of technology project. This could also be the foundation for risk model building exercise for technology start-ups (Table 1). 3. 4. . compliances. developing project management skills for scaling up operations and defining processes and systems would be required. the activities flowing from processes and practices need to be prioritized. investment and alliance strategies. 5. HR and organization structure. These are risks involved at very stage of a start-up. Furthermore.

therefore. Emerging market realities in terms of growing competition and shorter technology cycles warrant far stronger linkages with the last-mile-to-the-market than exist today. This eliminates the R&D market disconnect and enhances the success rate of projects. A well-designed ecosystem can not only play a catalytic role in providing technocommercial support but also offer resources of the kind discussed here for the economic success of start-ups. • Performance bench marks • Change management • Defining competition • Product-service differentiation • Timing and market • Stakeholding issues • Cash accruals and future plans • Post exit association / plans • IP • Customer loyalty and CRM Conclusion As argued in various sections above. .Table 1 : New venture risk management by operational stages (for hi-tech enterprises) Pre-start up risks • Technology validation • IPR analysis • Enterprise Valuation • Process streamlining • Business plan outline • Market testing • DCF analysis • Resource plan • Asset management • New venture location • Incorporation activities • Networks • Defining communication channels Early stage startup risks • Seed funding and Angels • Technical / customer validation and bench marks • Project Management • Change Management • Product / Service costing • Business model testing • Scaling-up plans • IPR management and strategy • HR plans • Effective communication • Promotion • Exploring value addition and diversification High growth risks • Strategic fund raising • Market estimation • Market driving skills • Cash flow management • Operations management • HR management • Scaling up and SCM • CRM • Conflict and crisis management • Value chain analysis and mapping • Cyclical assessment and preparing for downturn Exit risks • Right Valuation • Certification/validation. leading to a rapid growth of customer base and attracting early stage funding from investors. customer-centric project management and business processes are critical risk mitigation tools for new technology ventures. The biggest challenge. is to strengthen the existing ecosystem by encouraging active participation from all stakeholders intimately associated with nurturing and managing technology-based new ventures. etc.

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