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Business Management

Strategy, planning and implementation
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Success depends on strong business management.  This involves not only traditional business management functions such as strategy, budgeting and basic financial and cash flow management, but also dealing with additional challenges arising from the start-up nature of these initiatives.  Some functions that we support are listed below.

It is critical that Intellectual property coming into, and arising from the business, is protected in order to preserve and grow the value of a technology company. At the same time it is important that safeguards don’t stifle further innovation or unnecessarily impede collaboration. We achieve this fine balance through, for example; the prudent use of NDAs, and licensing agreements, as well as a small disciplined set of policies and procedures.

Financial benefits of a technology business accrue to founders primarily through equity. It is essential that this ‘resource’ be effectively managed in order to protect the interests of founders, while promoting growth opportunities. We develop business structures, employee agreements and the like, in order to enhance business equity for the founders while minimizing associated liability.

Securing funds is an essential, and challenging part of most start-up ventures. We work with technology start-ups to forecast the multi-year investment requirements of the business. From there we identify financing options and ultimately help secure new sources of financing.  We are in a very good position to achieve this given our extensive business networks and track record.

Given a recognition that business plans almost always fail to accurately forecast the future, their use has somewhat fallen out of favour.   Business plans still, however, fulfill a very useful purpose.  First and foremost, it is essential to have a clear view of what the business is trying to achieve and why.   This is key to ensuring that the business is proceeding with purpose, and to convince others to back the business.   It’s also important to invest appropriately in the development of the plan and to be prepared to make adjustments, as required.

Product Development

Specification, Design and Implementation
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R&D consumes the lion’s share of a new technology company’s budget.  It must be effectively managed in order to get the most out of that investment in terms of delivery costs, quality and time-to-market.   We’re an enthusiastic team with the experiences (track record), resources and connections to get the job done.

In the event of an ongoing R&D effort we can provide an assessment of the programme and capabilities. The vast majority of a technology company’s expenses are spent on R&D. An effective R&D organization benefits not only from reduced costs, but perhaps more importantly, improved time-to-market and reliable delivery. We perform assessments of processes, tools and related capabilities, as well as programme, risks and likely delivery outcomes. We can also include recommendations for improving results. In addition, we are able to implement all, or part, of those recommendations on your behalf as appropriate.

R&D plans are notoriously difficult to get ‘right’. Given this fact, the popularization of Agile development methods has led many organizations to pay insufficient attention to planning. R&D plans, however, remain important to ensuring successful execution, but they must be appropriate for the nature and scale of development in question. Given years of experience with both conventional and agile development projects, we are able to devise plans that are both appropriate and effective.

Effectively staffing R&D programmes continues to be very challenging. Given the importance of talented developers to project success, as well as their relative scarcity, staffing and resourcing of programmes has become a global problem and opportunity. Successful businesses don’t just look to global sourcing (off shoring in most cases) as a means of reducing costs, but instead global sourcing has become an essential tool for ensuring access to the best talent available. We have an extensive network that we use to provide access to the best global talent and teams.

We can manage your people or a blended team, in order to successfully complete programmes in a timely and cost effective way.

Product Management

Requirements and Go-to-Market Strategies
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The Product Management function is often poorly understood and appreciated, even by the most experienced practitioners.  Perhaps this is why so many commercialization initiatives fail to live up to founder expectations.   We have seen the consequences of not investing sufficiently in this function and can help you avoid the bone pile of failed businesses which either didn’t have the wisdom or skillset to adequately deal with this function.

Understanding product fit and potential is critical to appreciating the value and positioning of a new technology and product. Our thorough understanding of the industry helps us more effectively characterize the opportunity for a given technology. This understanding is also critical to being able to raise funds for a new venture.

The best technology or product in the world won’t amount to a hill of beans without a means of getting it to a potential customer.   And these days it is even more critical than in the past, that an intelligent business and revenue model be devised in order that the business can scale in a timely way, and ultimately generate profits in the process.  We work with founders to develop and implement these models with an eye to achieving profitability in a timely fashion.