Blog, News & Events

Customer Discovery meets the Industry 4.0

Industry_4.0Industrial Internet, Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, Smart Factories, Machine-to-Machine … whatever you call it, it is a BIG Movement across the globe.  How big is the economic power of the Industrial Internet? Consider one analysis that places a conservative estimate of worldwide spending at $500 billion by 2020, which then points to more optimistic forecasts ranging as high as $15 trillion of global GDP by 2030.  Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, is a collective term embracing a number of contemporary automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies. It had been defined as ‘a collective term for technologies and concepts of value chain organization’ which draws together Cyber-Physical Systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services.

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March 2016, Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SearchLite

The Community Monthly Newsletter, Mar. ’16

Did you know that although in the Georgian calendar, March is the third month, it was the first month and named Martius in the early Roman calendar? It was not until later that the ancient Romans made January to be the first month. Along with this fun fact, The SearchLite has much to share with you for the month of March!

Interested in who’s already a part of the IIR CommunityCheck out our members!

*Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone that might be interested! We would also encourage you to share our monthly newsletters on your social media platforms so that others may become aware of the IIR Community.*

As always, please feel free to come to me with any questions or concerns you may have (csong@thesearchlite.com).

– Christy Song

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What is a Lead Catalyst? TSL Welcomes 2 Lead Catalysts to the Team

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By: Christy Song

Edited By: Scott Phillips

Every Market Discovery Challenge involves a lead catalyst, Innovators-in-Residence, clients, and industry experts. Although each player is crucial and necessary to every project, the lead catalyst can be seen as the nucleus that guides the entire cell and keeps it functioning in the proper ways to survive. With this being said, you might be wondering Ok, so they’re important, but what do they do?

After expanding our leadership team with two more lead catalysts:  Samaya Krishnan and Qi Zhang, we realized that their fresh insights and first hand experiences might be a better way to walk you through the life of a Lead Catalyst. After all who better to explain what they do, why they do it, and what they’ve learned, than catalysts themselves?

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Transitioning Out of Academia? Here’s Visha’s Story…

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Visha Krishnan transitioned from academia to The SearchLite (TSL) several years ago and now has transitioned again into the world of intellectual patent (IP) licensing!

From her involvement at The SearchLite, Visha gained varied experiences in startups and consulting and, for the next stage of her career, she wanted to pursue negotiation and licensing. TSL focused more on consulting,market validation and customer discovery research, while her new position focuses on commercialization (technology transfer). She compares her role to being a broker of technology. “We just make things happen. We help people find the right customer company,” Visha said. This new position allows for Visha to take every single skill obtained throughout her academic and professional career to date and provide a whole round experience. Rather than sitting behind the scenes and working from the bench, she is able to help get the science out into the market. Visha recommends this field for any Innovator in Residence or any academic that loves science, loves to learn new things, and desires to be involved in new areas of translating research. “Every single skill that I have picked up at TSL, I will be using it in this job and any job in the future, Visha stated. Her skills obtained included market assessment, business involvement, people management, working with startups, and strategizing. With her dynamic experience, Visha was able to apply those concepts to her new position of approaching potential licensees and finding people to interview for potential licensees.

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The SearchLite at MSU Graduate Engineer Symposium

(Written by MJ Zhang; Edited by Christy Song; Photos by MJ Zhang)

The MSU Graduate Engineer Symposium of 2016 took place at the Breslin Center on March 31. More than 137 graduate students from 8 different engineer backgrounds participated in the poster competition. Nearly 40 representatives from 26 companies and industries were registered to participate in the 2016 Engineering Graduate Research Symposium. It was The SearchLite’s second time participating in this event. Scott Phillips, the CEO of The SearchLite, took part in judging the posters.

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Selecting the best poster was difficult, because there were more than 100 works and all of them used State-of-Art technologies solving all kinds of problems in the real world. They investigated high density polyethylene-graphene nanoplatelet composites for the production of fuel lines and fuel tanks; they used evolutionary algorithms to optimize bioenergy crop selection and placement based on stream health; they used cellulose nanowhiskers to modify carbon fiber epoxy matrix etc. (Read abstracts of all the posters)

 

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Win school credit by participating Market Discovery Challenges? It is possible!

(Written by MJ Zhang; Edited by Christy Song; Photos by Hui Yang and MJ Zhang)

Professor Mohammed Islam notified his students at the University of Michigan that they may earn credit for course EECS 499, Directed Study, by participating in The SearchLite’s Market Discovery Challenges.

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Scott Phillips (left) and Professor Mohammed Islam (right) in EECS 406 class at the University of Michigan.

Most graduate Innovators-in-Residence join The SearchLite in their senior years looking for exposure to the industry and business sector, which enhances their resume and benefits their careers.

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The 2nd Annual Midwest Business Case Competition hold successfully

(Written by MJ Zhang, Edited by Christy Song, Photos by Sung Hei Yau)
The Final and Semi-Final rounds of the 2nd Annual Midwest Business Case Competition was held by the Michigan Graduate Consulting Club (MGCC) on March. 18th. As one of the General Sponsors, The SearchLite was invited to this event. Scott Phillips, Founder and CEO of The SearchLite,, , judged the final competition with Ben Kosinski from The Boston Consulting Groups, Diane Bouis from Innovo, Linh Song from the  Ann Arbor Educational Foundation (AAPSEF).

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Four Judges. From left to right: Scott Phillips, Linh Song, Ben Kosinski and Diane Bouis.

After four laborious hours, the first and second place winners of the Semi-Final and Final Competition were, the team ProboKnow (Rhonda Jack, Lianette Rivera, Eric Lin, and Zhijie Wang) and SciNeer(Junjie Chen, Justin Storms, Minyu Xiao, David Burdette). Congratulations on your achievements and outstanding teamwork!

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Innovators-in-Residence Program comes to McMaster University

mcmasterThe SearchLite had the privilege of being invited to McMaster University to conduct an Innovators-in-Residence Workshop on March 3rd, 2016.   The invitation was extended by the Graduate Student Life Team, part of the School of Graduate Studies.   This event was made possible by a connection between Scott Phillips from The SearchLite and Catherine Maybrey from McMaster University back in 2014 when Catherine hosted a “CV to Resume Webinar” on behalf of The SearchLite.

maybreyCatherine began her career with dreams of the tenure track, and along the way discovered something much better – the ability to take the best of what she loves about academia and to apply it in practice helping others. Her approach to career development is grounded in labour market research, hiring practices, and innovative use of technology to make service available to all graduate students on their timetable.  She previously served as the Alumni Career Coach, where she advanced services for graduate students including workshops and videos on Transforming Your CV to a Resume, The Academic Job Search, The Non-Academic Job Search, Transferable Skills, and Graduate Student Boot Camp.

IMG_0984The Innovators-in Residence (IIR) program is a community-based learning platform. The IIR program provides a unique opportunity for Ph.D. graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from all academic disciplines to gain experience in innovation commercialization, acquire insights into market risk assessment and build relationships with leaders in industry while trying to solve real-world problems.

ThIMG_0987e McMaster University Graduate Students who participated in the workshop learned about the principles of Product-Market Fit and Value Proposition Design through live engagement in case studies which represent real Market Discovery Challenges recently completed by The SearchLite. Value Proposition Design is one of the 2016-03-03 10.41.01most critical skill sets needed to be a successful inventor or entrepreneur and a key element of the Lean Startup Process and Business Model Generation. Understanding Value Proposition Design will also be a valuable skill for academics in transition to industry with interest in various aspects of Corporate R&D, Engineering, Product Management or Marketing.

IMG_0988Students broke down into teams and were assigned a case study. Their assignment was to  identify the best -Product-Market Fit given the Value Proposition for a particular invention.  Inventions included (1) Portable Ammonemia Detector (Stanford University) – A low cost, portable, simple-to-use device designed to rapidly detect elevated ammonia in a drop of blood; (2) Rapid Decoupling & 2016-03-03 11.04.39Isolation (Oakland University) – Concept with ability to sense a sudden event and rapidly decouple load-bearing, structural joints in order to isolate occupants from the shock of the event; (3) Mobile Power Generation (Diversified Solar) – Hybrid solar system for mobile stand alone and grid-tied solar-based power generation and other inventions.

The teams all did an amazing job.  With no background on the principles of lean startup and only one hour to study their inventions, they all presented to a mock group of venture capitalists at the conclusion.  It was amazing how they were all able leverage the individual strengths, skills and experiences of their individual team members.  After the presentations, Scott had a chance to have lunch and visit with the students to learn more about their future plans and answer questions about The SearchLite and the Innovators-in-Residence Program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2016, Newsletter


 
 
 
 

 

 

 

The SearchLite

The Community Monthly Newsletter, Feb. ’16

Throughout the month of February love was in the air as boxes of chocolates were exchanged, and heart-felt messages were shared. Although our messages might not end with XOXO, The SearchLite has plenty to share with you for the month of February!

Interested in who’s already a part of the IIR CommunityCheck out our members!

*Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone that might be interested! We would also encourage you to share our monthly newsletters on your social media platforms so that others may become aware of the IIR Community.*

As always, please feel free to come to me with any questions or concerns you may have (csong@thesearchlite.com).

– Christy Song

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Transitioning out of Academia is scary, but you’re not alone!

Transitioning out of Academia is scary, but you’re not alone!

change mich state recruiting

Visha Krishnan, former Market Discovery Director of The SearchLite, recently attended a career event for Doctoral and Postdoctoral scholars interested in exploring careers outside of academia at Michigan State University. She participated as one of the panelists for the Innovation/IP portion of the Expanded Careers Conference, along with, Cindy Bott (Partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP and Tom Herlache, Technology Manager at MSU Technologies). The event featured a portion where the guest panelists individually explained how they arrived at their current job position and they shared with the scholars what it is that they are currently doing.

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