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Tips for TTOs on using events to market their innovations

In her recent blog post, Rebecca Stoughton, vice president of tech transfer services company Fuentek, offers tips to university tech transfer offices on how to make the best use of events to market their innovations to potential licensees and investors.

“The first step,” writes Stoughton, “is to identify where your intellectual property (IP) portfolio aligns with the industry you’re trying to engage.”

If you have sufficiently organized and optimized your IP portfolio, it will show your TTO’s core strengths, which industries may have an interest in each innovation, and which of your innovations are related enough to be marketed or licensed together.

“If you have a range of technologies that support a single industry with a strong presence in your region, consider hosting your own event,” says Stoughton. “If your IP portfolio has a particularly strong core competency, a more technology-focused approach may be warranted.”

Here are Stoughton’s four essential tips to help TTOs maximize the impact of an event:

  1. Selecting technologies and research. “Rather than bombard people with too much information, be selective,” she writes. Focus on technologies that will be of greatest interest to the attendees. If you have researchers working on relevant projects who are seeking R&D partners or sponsors, include them, too.
  2. Preparing handouts. Create eye-catching reading material that touches on audience, message, mechanism and outcome. Focus on the value proposition, and group together technologies that are closely related.
  3. Coaching researchers. Help researchers develop presentations that describe their technologies in an accessible way. They should be taught to focus more on their technology’s practical applications and benefits, rather than how it was made or how it works.
  4. Following up. “In the spirit of striking while the iron is hot, reach out to the contacts you made within 1-2 weeks of the event,” Stoughton says. “Whether it’s been a technology briefing or a networking interaction at a conference, we have consistently found that early follow-up is most effective.”

Source: Fuentek

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