innovators in residence

Online Retreat Review: Can’t Wait for Next Year!

Did you attend the Online Retreat for  The SearchLite Innovator-in-Residence Community?

I am sorry that you missed out on a lot of fun and …maybe gifts and food…but luckily, you will not miss out on the information.

Let’s see what happened…

Our attendees were divided into  three teams: Royal (Real) Black Dolphins, The Super Se7en, and The Nomads. Each team had to come up with individual themes prior to the retreat. Their themes definitely displayed some talent! Here are their posters. Some of our special guests included Evelyn, who is a business transition coach, and Martha who stayed up in her PJs,  just to attend our retreat!

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Guess who won the best poster?

Scott helped everyone review the Innovators-in-Residence Program.

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and MJ explained the rules of the new Reward Points System. You may read the information on our IIR Info page (p/w: TSLIIR).

Then, Scott continued on to announce The SearchLite’s new business model with three new focus areas : Connected Factories, Connected Cars, and Connected Health. The first report of Connected Factories industry will be released on July 27. Keep an eye out for it! For the new business model we will have more traditional titles such as Project Leader and Research Analyst. These will also be paid positions. More details are to come once the system goes into effect.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in or have backgrounds related to the three topics, let us know. This might be another exciting opportunity for you!!

In the Lucky Wheel session, the Super Se7en, who won the best poster, was not so lucky as the  Royal (Real) Black Dolphins and The Nomads caught up.

Games were next on the agenda and the determining factor of the winners came down to  Jeopardy!. The categories included IIR Program, Value Proposition Design, The Searchlite and Other Trivia.The online IIRs and the IIRs in office showed great team effort. Yan Chang and Gautam answered questions for the Royal black Dolphins, Martha and Tao took the lead for The Super Seven team and Jayshree and Peng from The Nomads didn’t back down! Super Se7en bravely chose several of the hardest questions and answered them correctly, which made them the champions of the Online Retreat.

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And the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the Awards portion of the retreat capped off the event. Drum roll please… Marta won the “Christopher Columbus Award” for her excellent performance as an IIR for a year and half all the way in Portugal and she referred two IIRs, Juliana and Telmo.

Yan Dong won the “Jane Goodall Award” for his  splendid work in the field research for the  HALO project.

And Tao Wen won the “Dog The Bounty Hunter Award” for landing the most interviews amongst all IIRs.

Although only a few names were recognized we truly would like to thank you for all of your hard work! We hope you gained a valuable experience from your experience as an IIR. .

Thanks to everyone who joined the Online Retreat. You should have received a Starbucks Gift Card in your inbox.

We would like to thank all of the IIRs who have collaboratively worked in the projects to achieve outstanding works, especially the new members who have brought a great level of enthusiasm and the old heads who provide the ‘wisdom’!

So, all that is left to say is, thanks to everyone who made this another incredible year in The SearchLite history. The Innovators-in-Residence Community is an amazing family. Let’s be thankful that we are all part of it. And be sure to remember we will have another retreat next year. Mark your calendars in advance!

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(Edited by Prianca, Hui and Christy)

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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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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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!

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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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December, 2015 Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

The SearchLite

The Community Monthly Newsletter, Dec. ’15

Happy Holidays from The SearchLite to you and your loved ones! This season is a time full of merriment, good food, better company, and warm carols. But, did you know that the famous “Jingle Bells” was composed in 1857 as a song for Thanksgiving and not for Christmas. Who knew?! Beyond this fun fact we have exciting news to share with you for the month of December.

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 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

Read more

How to Ask Valuable Customer Questions

How to Ask Valuable Customer Questions

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Did you know much of what The SearchLite does is based off of Alex Osterwalder and Steve Blanks foundational models for lean startups? We follow their lead because quite simply it works! As our main goal is to help inventors and entrepreneurs commercialize their inventions and startup solutions we focus on Customer Discovery and Market Validation. Since customer discovery is the very first step, developing useful customer interview questions is one of the first things we must think about and learn how to do effectively. In a blog titled “A Quick Guide To Asking Good Customer Questions,” published by Kavi Guppta for Strategyzer, Guppta presents 8 fundamental rules to keep in mind while conducting customer interviews including:

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October, 2015 Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SearchLite

The Community Monthly Newsletter

Did you know that October is national chili month? I don’t know if whoever came up with this was trying to be punny, but it sure is the month where chilly is almost not adequate enough to describe the weather. Before the weather turns too cold we have some news that may warm you up!
– Christy

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 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). Read more

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