Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2011

On Wednesday, June 15th, RIC Centre will be hosting the finale of the Growing Your Business breakfast series of the 2010/2011 season.  We are proud to bring back the very successful Innovator Idol for the third straight year.

Four emerging companies will have their chance to pitch their business to a panel of industry experts. If you would like to particpate the application deadline is May 26 at 4 p.m. For applications and more details please visit www.riccentre.com or contact Jasmeet Duggal at jasmeet@riccentre.com.

A panel of experts will provide feedback on individual presentations  and business plans and with that influence; the audience will get to select the winner.  If you would like to have an impact on which company will be selected to win thousands of dollars worth of cash and prizes please join us for Innovator Idol III.

Entrepreneurs will have the unique opportunity to see what goes into a good business pitch and hear tips and tricks from experts on how to make their own presentations more successful.  Potential investors will have the chance to listen and compare multiple investment opportunities.

Innovator Idol III will take place June 15th, 2011 at the Noel Ryan Auditorium, Mississauga from 8:30am to 11:00am.

Registration to the event includes parking and breakfast. For more details and to register visit www.riccentre.com or contact Jasmeet Duggal at jasmeet@riccentre.com.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Robert Brands

 No matter if it’s a test score, sports game result or a sales figure, what we measure is what goes down in history. After all, “what’s measured is treasured.”
It’s human nature to look back at past results as a basis for comparison and for improvement in the future. For this reason, it is absolutely essential to carefully observe and measure performance in the New Product Development process. In each of the different stages of the process, keep track of how much time is being spent so you know if you are ahead or behind schedule compared to past NPD cycles.

What gets measured is what gets done. Therefore, it’s necessary to set leading and lagging indicators for how the NPD process is going. Leading indicators such as the number of new ideas in the database, number of projects in the hopper, patents applied to, and amount of time and resources spent are all important information that give you insight on the NPD progress. Lagging indicators could include number of new products introduced, patents granted, new product sales in the first three years after launch, and how close your team is getting to the goal of introducing “at least one new product per year.”

By the way the traditional measurement of % of R&D spend is no guarantee for success!

Things will not always go as planned so now is the opportunity to make corrective actions. By measuring performance, you will be able to address your team on what’s working and what’s not for continuous improvement.

Success in product development is seen as one of the top indicators of the future performance of a company. To sustain Innovation, companies need to continuously improve their new product development capabilities. Quantitative and qualitative measurements of new product development will lend insights into a company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Measuring performance doesn’t stop after your product is launched. Now it’s time to measure the fruits of your labor. Some very important and telling information can be collected during the first three years after the launch of a product. In a survey of 200 companies that design and develop new products, they shared these key performance indicators.

1. Measure Research & Development spending as a percentage of your total sales.

2. Look at your total number of patents filed, pending, awarded and rejected.

3. Track your total R&D head count, hours or days spend.

4. Measure the current year percentage of sales due to new products released in the past year, past three years, and past five years.

5. Count the number of new products released.

These metrics should be examined after every New Product Development cycle so you are clear on your spendings and ROI for each product. Look at your ratio of new product sales compared to total sales. Now you have a basis for comparison and can set a target goal for the next new product. This management by objectives style uses ongoing monitoring and is an effective method for keeping the NPD team focused on achieving goals. By looking at opportunities in the New Product Development process to increase ROI, companies are able to improve performance and ultimately, increase shareholder value.

Robert is the founder of InnovationCoach.com, and the author of “Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival, with Martin Kleinman published by Wiley. Helping to Evaluate, Improve and Deliver Innovation through 10 Imperatives that Create and Sustain “New” in Business or Organization.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Knowlton Thomas

FMC has launched one of a series of microsites targeted to assist its clients.

This first site is called TechStartUpCenter, and as one may draw from the rather uninspired name, its content is about helping tech startups.

Prepared by FMC’s legal experts in tech and intellectual property, and built on the slogan “The Ultimate Guide from Startup to IPO,” the site covers “legal and business issues impacting technology entrepreneurs, executives and investors.”

Currently, top articles include “Vesting and buyback rights” and “Understanding intellectual property rights,” topics that are crucial for company leaders to comprehend but are often not covered in sufficient detail outside of the legal realm.

There is a surprisingly large amount of content available on the site, covering an impressive range of concepts, and it’s all available for free – so there’s no reason that you’re budding tech company shouldn’t investigate what TechStartUpCentre has to offer.

Reposted from Techvibes Media

Knowlton Thomas is the Associate Editor of Techvibes Media. He is also the Web Editor of The Other Press, a weekly newspaper, and a regular columnist for them as well.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Radi Hindawi

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are my main online consumers?
  • Where does my primary web traffic come from?
  • Are my clients more engaged in my website than that of my competitors?

One of the biggest failures of company’s website campaigns is the lack of overall web-market research and analysis.

In North America alone, 58% of Entrepreneurs above the age of 24 had difficulty answering at least one of the three questions  above. Of these individuals, 90% own companies that make annual revenues of over $90,000 (To view results, please click here). Even more shocking than that, only 43.7% of those  were confident of their primary client’s loyalty to their respective company.

In order to optimize a powerful online market, one must look to enhance a powerful online marketing strategy that builds a stronger and more sustainable relationship with web clients.

Let us look at a few ways of avoiding the specified issues above, accordingly:

Analyze your current web Industry and competitors

The first mistake individuals make when approaching their web marketing strategy is hoping for an easy ‘push’ motion in order to grasp some form of demographics or traffic.

It is important  to understand the current status of the respective industry on the World Wide Web before tackling any sort of overall web strategy.

If, for example, you wish to enhance a new form of revenue from selling E-Book readers online, it is imperative to first understand:

  • Who the biggest, existing, competitors are?
  • How strong is their current online marketing strategy?
  • What are their greatest web strengths and weaknesses?

In this competitive analysis, it is important to break down every aspect of a competitor’s website, understand what attracts people to their site, and what could push users to leave their site. It is recommended that you talk to web designers and researchers to help guide you

Locate Digital Tools that can help build your industry web research

Toluna Inc. (www.toluna-group.com) is one of the largest online market research panels offering extensive tools for research and market collaboration. By leveraging such comprehensive market tools, users are able to administer a complete set of surveys and focus groups with extended background in filtered demographics and overall education.

Building on our previous e-Book example, if we wanted to test and understand how successful our e-Book online venture would be for different target segments, we would need to test the following attributes:

  • Gender – Who is more likely to buy the product? Male or Female?
  • Age – Which age group is likely to utilize our site more than the rest?
  • Country – Will I need international shipping features on my website? Or will it be local only?
  • Education – How educated must my target clients be to full utilize my website?
  • Household Income – Which of the groups of users are likely to buy my products online?

Understanding your demographics will ensure a more strategic and targeted approach to online presence. This knowledge can also help inform decisions in your overall website and commerce strategies.

Monitor your websites overall fluctuation of traffic, effectiveness and response rate

Google Analytics is one of the many great tools out there that offers its users the ability to view how well their site is being published online. Not only are you able to gain traffic and overall marketing feedback, you are also able to track new site or marketing changes in hopes to generate a new sense of strong brand marketing.

Back to our online E-Book Sellers Company, Google Analytics could be used to:

  • Track overall brand awareness versus competitors
  • Understand new potential marketing options that could boost overall traffic and, potentially, revenue
  • Understand new niche areas that could be marketed in hopes to gain a stronger clientele base
  • Understanding which areas of their website need to be change/updated to satisfy overall customer demand

This, in turn, can help you optimize and manage new changes to your website in order to increase awareness and drive traffic within your online market.

Radi Hindawi is a Digital Enterprise Specialist graduate from the University of Toronto’s Communications, Culture and Information Technology program. Radi has leveraged his academic background and professional experiences in web development, online communications and digital marketing. For more information, please visit www.radihindawi.com

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Cheryl Lindsay

Discovery, voted The Best Tradeshow in Canada of 2010, is back to bring together key players from industry, academia, government, the investment community along with entrepreneurs and students. 

Discovery, hosted by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, is the leading innovation-to-commercialization conference. It showcases leading edge technologies, best practices and researchers from sectors such as health manufacturing, digital media and cleantech with approximately 325 exhibitors and over 2,500 attendees.  The basis of Discovery is to facilitate the exchange of ideas, encourage new ways to collaborate and push the boundaries of research and innovation through demonstration and development.

In the midst of two days of exciting events, workshops and exhibitors, Discovery is pleased to have two experienced and established keynote speakers leading the discussion of innovation for 2011.  This year Discovery is featuring David G. Thomson, Founder and Chairman of The Blueprint Growth Institute and Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research.

David G. Thomson founded The Blueprint Growth Institute, which is a specialized management-consulting firm focused on helping companies develop growth strategies and execute the 7 essentials.  The 7 essentials are what he claims to be the necessary steps to achieve growth and are taken from the patterns of high-growth companies.  He is also the author of Blueprint to a Billion, which focuses on the 7 essentials.

Bill Buxton, now the Principal Researcher for Microsoft Research, has many years of experience in computer science.  He is an advocate for innovation, design and especially the appropriate consideration for human values, capacity and culture in the conception, implementation and use of new products and technologies.  He is the recipient of multiple awards and honours including being named the Doctor of Design, Honoris Causa by the Ontario College of Art and Design as well as the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Discovery will be held on May 18th-19th, 2011 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  To register, or for registration details please visit www.ocediscovery.com.

Cheryl Lindsay is an undergrad student and the University of Toronto, Mississauga.  She is currently enrolled in the CCIT program pursuing a specialist in Digital Enterprise Management.  Cheryl is a student intern with the RIC Centre acting as Assisting Communications Officer.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Rob Lewis

BlackBerry Partners Fund has launched the fourth annual BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge.

This year, developers can enter their BlackBerry apps in a series of competitions to win a share of US $3 million in prizes. Winners will be selected on a regional basis across four global regions – North America, Latin America, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia Pacific.

This year’s challenge includes three competitions: Best Adobe Flash/AIR app; Most Innovative BlackBerry WebWorks app on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 6; and Most Addictive social app using the BBM Social Platform.

Both newly developed and existing applications are eligible to compete in this year’s BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge. To participate in the challenge, application forms for each competition must be completed and submitted within the following dates:

  • Best Flash/AIR Mobile App for BlackBerry PlayBook – can be submitted starting today, April 28, 2011 through August 12, 2011.
  • Most Innovative BlackBerry WebWorks app on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 6 – can be submitted from May 9, 2011 through August 26, 2011 .
  • Most Addictive social app using the BBM Social Platform – can be submitted later this summer; check the Challenge website for submission dates.

New this year in addition to the Challenge, the BlackBerry Partners Fund will be honouring applications in six categories to receive a Recognition Award. The recipients, which will be recognized regionally, will be selected in the following categories:

  • Best B2C application developed for a customer by an Agency or ISV
  • Most useful enterprise application
  • Best website conversion using the BlackBerry WebWorks platform
  • Most creative implementation of Super App characteristics
  • Top Performers – Most innovative use of Payment Service and/or Advertising Service
  • Academic – Most compelling application created by student or faculty

 All winners of the 2011 BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge will be recognized at the 2011 BlackBerry Developer Conference (DEVCON) in October in San Francisco.

Reposted from Techvibes.com

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor in Chief of Techvibes.com.  His diverse background includes stints with International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Jasmeet Duggal

For the life science community, the BIO International Convention is an annual event that provides a global platform to showcase its talent.  I had the pleasure of attending the BIO 2011 Industry Liaison Meeting in Toronto yesterday. Among the attendees was the Minister of Research and Innovation, Glenn Murray, who shared his vision to ensure a prominent Ontario presence at BIO 2011.

The theme of this year’s pavilion was introduced as Innovation in Healthy Aging, with a focus on job and investment, international initiatives, philanthropy, and research and commercialization.

BIO International Convention takes place in Washington, D.C. from June 27th-30th.

Several examples were presented at the meeting to highlight the pavilion theme; once  was of Profound Medical Inc. – seen as an innovator in the Ontario life sciences industry. Profound Medical  produces a minimally invasive medical device that combines ultrasound thermal therapy with the imaging capabilities of MRI to treat prostate cancer.

Profound Medical, Inc.’s CEO, Paul Chipperton, will be a panelist at the May 12th Growing Your Business Seminar. Having been a successful entrepreneur in the biotech start-up business, Paul will bring to the conversation his insights on negotiating the perfect term sheet. Click here to register for the session.

Jasmeet Duggal is graduate student pursuing a Master of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto. She is currently the Communications Officer for the RIC Centre, a role which has allowed her to engage in the start-up culture, instilling an understanding of entrepreneurship and business development. With her expertise in the life sciences, she hopes to pursue a career in technology transfer to bring innovation in the life sciences to market.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »