February 2016

Michigan Bio-Industry Growth Summit

michbioLeaders from the bio-industry, academia, and policy realms recently met in Lansing to discuss how to best unleash Michigan’s biosciences R&D and manufacturing potential to stimulate economic growth.  The Michigan Bio-Industry Growth Summit was hosted by MichBio.

Stephen Rapundalo, PhD, President and CEO of MichBio reviewed the details of a forward-looking strategy for building a strong, statewide biosciences cluster and what’s needed across key sectors and specialty market areas to leverage the state’s strengths and opportunities – as well as best practices – to enhance competitiveness and develop Michigan into a preeminent biosciences leader!  The event was co-sponsored by Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan and Jeffrey Mason, Executive Director, University Research Corridor.

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Roger Newton, Executive Chairman and CSO, Esperion Therapeutics kicked off the day be moderating a session with Mark Leahey, CEO, Medical Device Mfrs. Assc. (MDMA) and Liz Powell, Principal, G2G Consulting.   The group discussed key findings from a recent report entitled “Bioscience Economic Development in the States.”  The report compared state level legislative and job creation best practices.

I was quite impressed with the quality of the event.  Stephen Rapundalo and his co-organizers had clearly done a magnificent job in terms of preparation.  The topics were very relevant and the speakers were all very accomplished and thought leaders on their subjects.  Networking before and after the event was particularly valuable.  I am already looking forward to attending next year.

Scott Phillips

 

Engineers, get out of the building!

Are you an academic in transition? Would you like to try an experience that may broaden your career?

The SearchLite recently shared some of our projects with graduate students at Michigan State University’s School of Engineering. Several of our Innovators-in-Residence are from MSU, so we wanted to share our knowledge from our Market Discovery Challenges with fellow Spartans and hoped to expand our community at MSU.

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Customer Discovery Scoreboard: Survey 0; FieldTrip 1

sThere are many tools that can be used within the realm of Customer Discovery Research for early-phase startups, including interviews, phone engagements, surveys, field trips, etc..   It is beneficial to have all of these tools in your Customer Discovery Toolkit and know when to use which tool based upon the circumstances. Our experience with Giggso is a perfect example of how a variation of tools may be more effective than using just one approach.

Giggso has become one of the most well-known projects in the history of The SearchLite.  For the past 3 months, we have been talking about this project in all of our weekly project update meetings, and when we weren’t talking about it, we were thinking about it. Giggso is one of the longest and toughest Market Discovery Challenges yet it happened to be my first project!

If you define success as the ratio of outcome over goal, I can’t say Giggso is a successful project. However, from an experience gaining perspective, people grow faster in the process of tackling tough problems rather than being handed easy solutions. I grew tremendously because of Giggso.

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