World’s First Manned Flight with an Electric Multicopter.

November 2, 2011

I’m not sure of the practical benefits of such a device or the market, but it’s very cool.  If I could find a way to sneak it past our accounting system, we’ll order it.


ZetrOZ – Winner of Step2Change Technology Competition

July 6, 2011

the great thing about working with is that we get to see so many interesting new technologies.  Thousands of them.  A few really impress us.  One is  ZetrOZ and their revolutionary ultrasound therapy technology.  They took first place in’s recent Step2Change Technology Competition last month.

Join us 19 July 2011, 11:00am EDT for a Webinar on ZetrOZ.

Register here for the webinar:

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Delaware Corporations – LLC Filings up to 82,027

May 9, 2011

Delaware has an impressive Chancery court, that has written most modern US corporation case law.  Last year, 76% of the IPOs were incorporated in Delaware.  Which is a key reason why 63% of the Fortune 500 are registered here.

I spent some time poking around the Delaware Division of Corporations website.  What I did not expect to find is leading indicators of economic recovery in the Annual Report.  LLC filings are up to 82,000, from 70,000 in ’09 and 81,923 in ’08.  This has good to be good news for economic recovery? Webinar – April 21st – Improve deal-making process

April 19, 2011

Join us to hear how experienced deal-makers are succeeding, at our upcoming webinar:

Conference Preview: Successful Deal-making with Small Companies April 21, 2011, 11:00am EST.

We’ll be discussing relationship building, cross-cultural appreciation, ongoing consulting, and step-wise deal structures, among other topics. We’ve gathered representatives from both the small and big company perspectives to share their thoughts — tune in to learn how you can hasten and improve your own deal process.

Webinar speakers:

Steve Baggott, Director, External Business Development, Procter & Gamble
Robert Michelson, President, Butler Home Products
Dr. Greg Williams, Director of Research and Development, Monteco Ltd.

April’s webinar is an exclusive preview of a live panel discussion to be held at’s upcoming Open Innovation conference in May, in Boston.

Register today for the Successful Deal-making with Small Companies Preview Webinar here:

5 IP Legal Mistakes Small Companies Make When Working with Large Companies

March 8, 2011

Open Innovation Legal Insights

Jackie Hutter is my favorite IP attorney in open innovation.  She has done a lot of interesting deals and represented both large and small companies.  Below is a great article by her – Ben

Small companies CAN effectively partner with large companies in Open Innovation…

Open Innovation guru Stefan Lindegaard recently asked me what the biggest IP legal mistakes small companies make when they are working with large companies. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart, as I am currently “moonlighting” as GC of a start up energy company that is moving toward licensing our technology into large companies. Also, as a senior IP lawyer at a multi-national consumer products company, I was on the other side of such deals on more occasions than I can count. Prior to that, I was a law firm partner representing large and small corporations in patents and licensing issues, and in doing so, I now realize that I killed more deals than I ever facilitated, a situation that is more typical of law firm lawyers than it should be, unfortunately.

In view of this multi-faceted experience, I present this list of the 5 most common mistakes companies make when working with large companies in Open Innovation.

1. Thinking you have all the answers for the large company’s problems:

As a small company, you often have only have a single idea or technology and you quite properly focus your attention in this direction. This can be damaging to your ability to do complete an Open Innovation deal with a big company, however. The large company may not care about what you see as the value of your technology because they are the experts in their products and customers. Indeed, you may be wholly wrong about why the large company is interested in speaking to you. If you want to sell or license your technology to a large company, your best bet is to focus on the specific technology aspects, and leave the business and customer issues to the other side, at least at the early stages of discussion.

2. Bringing the wrong lawyer to the table:

Very often small companies assume the lawyer who handles their intellectual property issues is the appropriate person to bring to a conversation with the big company. However, the legal skills a small company needs to obtain its patent rights are very different than what are needed to get a deal done. While protection of your small company’s IP should be paramount in any dealings with the large company, putting up complicated restrictions about the use and ownership of your IP even before you know a deal is likely to happen, which is the natural inclination of most IP attorneys, can often end up in the other party walking away before a deal is even underway. I have found the best lawyers to negotiate deals in the Open Innovation context are business-focused attorneys, who tend to be people who have served a stint in the corporate world and who might even have little experience with high-end IP issues. It can be tough to find someone with these credentials, however. As an alternative, I like to work with licensing experts, most of whom have successfully closed most deals in a year than many law firm IP lawyers see in their entire careers. These licensing experts are frequently not lawyers, but they have negotiated enough agreements to be very good at spotting the legal issues and, in this regard, they often do a better job than lawyers.

3. Putting the legal issues ahead of the business issues:

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Innovation Outside of the Box

March 3, 2011

Innovation is all about taking the common and regular, and changing it for the better. Here is a quick video about the reinvention of the shoe box by Puma.  At yet2ventures, we are fascinated by breakthrough consumer packaging.

3 Tips for Starting a Business

March 1, 2011

I read this article and thought it was worth sharing….enjoy – Ben

(Editor’s note: Doug Collom is vice dean and an adjunct lecturer on venture capital and entrepreneurship for Wharton|San Francisco. He submitted this story to VentureBeat. I reprinted it here)

Starting companies is hard.  And it’s critical to make sure that your venture is pointing in the right direction from the moment it leaves the launch pad. Any misdirection or miscue on the basic organizational steps can be fatal.

It’s a lot like launching a rocket aimed at the moon—if the launch is only 2 degrees off target at blast-off, it will miss by hundreds of thousands of miles.

There’s no end to the advice and opinions entrepreneurs will hear in a company’s early days, but three basic rules that every company founder should take into consideration:

Keep it simple – In setting up the capital structure and the first equity of the company, many founders either try to innovate or try to accommodate the wishes and desires of every co-founder and early stage employee. The result is too much complexity.

In most cases where there is more than one founder (probably on the order of over 80 percent of startups), the stock should be split equally. If it isn’t an even split, then you should re-evaluate whether your co-participants really deserve to be in the “founder” category. Establish uniform stock vesting provisions that apply equally to both founders (although maybe with some “credit” for pre-formation activities) and early stage employees. Read the rest of this entry »

BMW’s New Open Innovation Program – The Future of Mobility

January 22, 2011

BMW is reaching out for new ideas, in an interesting program called the Future of Mobility.  The future is not what it used to be, it will be better.

If every company has open innovation programs like this, and I believe they will, it will empower engineers and innovators – to do what they do best.  Another example of the increasing liquidity of technology.

$3 Million Open Innovation Prize for an Algorithm

December 14, 2010

This is a very interesting prize, and a great example of Open Innovation at work – Ben.  Reprint from here:

More than 71 Million individuals in the United States are admitted to hospitals each year, according to the latest survey from the American Hospital Association.  Studies have concluded that in 2006 well over $30 billion was spent on unnecessary hospital admissions.  How many of those hospital admissions could have been avoided if only we had real-time information as to which patients were at risk for future hospitalization?  This is more than just an academic question:  every unnecessary admission to the hospital places the patient at risk and uses scarce medical resources unwisely.

The Heritage Provider Network (HPN) launched the $3 million Heritage Health Prize with one goal in mind: to develop a breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.  Heritage believes that incentivized competition – one that includes the involvement of those with passionate minds that don’t know what can’t be done – is the best way to achieve the radical breakthroughs and innovations necessary to reform our health care system.  Sponsoring this prize is simply one way that Heritage believes it can help solve a societal problem.

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An Indication of “The New Now” – A Holiday Flash Mob

December 2, 2010

A few days ago, I wrote about a new trend – the emergence of the “New Now“.  I wrote about how our definition of “now” will change, how mobile computing will give us a new control of our environment, the way Tivo gives us control of our TV.  We will spend less time waiting for things and more time; learning, having fun, connecting with family and making friends.

Flash mobs, like this one, are an early indicator of the “New Now”.  This is a really neat clip.  What are other examples of the “New Now”?



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