Troubleshooting Emerging Technology Companies

One of the problems of being asked for advice is that the recipients don’t always like what they are told. This was memorably illustrated by one of the first ever reality TV shows, Troubleshooter, featuring former ICI chairman Sir John Harvey Jones. Never afraid to give blunt advice, Harvey-Jones’ solutions to struggling businesses ranged from developing  turn around plans to …

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What Use Is Nanotechnology?

Technology Review, besides being a great magazine edited by Jason Pontin, who I have known since the heyday of Red Herring, also puts on some great conferences. So I was excited and honoured to be invited to EmTech Spain, a two day conference in Malaga focussing on emerging technologies. Along with my World Economic Forum colleague Javier García Martínez of …

Innovation Starvation or Risk Avoidance?

While working on our report on Using Emerging Technologies to Address Global Risks, one of my favourite SciFi authors, Neal Stephenson, popped up with an essay on Innovation Starvation. It echoes Tyler Cowen‘s arguments that all the easy big stuff has been done,  and that all we have left to look forward to are incremental improvements rather than world changing …

What Happens If Your Commercial Partner Fails to Commercialise Your Technology?

Here’s a question that worries every technology transfer department and any innovative company that partners with a large multinational company – what if they mess it up or even try to kill it? The Wall Street Journal reports on a High Court action tomorrow where Ploughshare Innovations, who licence the intellectual property for the Ministry of Defence’s Porton Down Laboratory, and …

Beware The Counterfeit Investors

After a few years of being on the ‘funder’ side of the desk, I’ve vaulted across to start a new technology venture, and to begin the least pleasant part of entrepreneurship – fund raising! (Feel free to contact me once you have read what follows). There are plenty of people out there who will tell you how to make the …

Toto, This isn’t 1997 any more!

The Wall Street Journal points to further evidence of the collapse of Venture Capital.  Typical of the doom laden quotes is this: “Dallas is an entrepreneurial city, but it won’t be driven by venture capital going forward,” said Daniel T. Owen, a venture capitalist at the 16th-floor firm H02 Partners, which plans to wind down its venture business over the next few …