After a few weeks of mixers, get-to-know-you ice breakers, and lab tours, team selections are here! It's been a great process because of the hands-off approach of the program administrators. We were truly able to form teams with people that we believed we could be successful working with. It was quite a challenge however to narrow down my list of team members, I've been consistently impressed by the caliber of student in the TI:GER program. For me, it really came down to a specific project that I felt a great affinity towards in the lab tours.
I'll be working on commercializing organic printed electronics with Ph.D candidate Amir Dindar. This project attracted me for several reasons but primarily its application to the photovoltaic cell industry. Having worked in oil and gas before coming back to business school, I see green technology has having a large role in our nation's energy future. I'm very excited about my teammates and we've already scheduled a team dinner this weekend to get to know each other better. First official team meeting is coming up soon- stay tuned!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
This week we have been visiting the Ph.D labs to get an introduction to their research and help us select our teams for our project. Each meeting involved a brief presentation by the Ph.D students to the JDs and MBAs followed by a tour of their lab facilities. The picture above is from my first lab tour with Billy Wang's research in cell separation. The Ph.D's have done a great job explaining their highly technical research in terms that the rest of us can understand. They've also got a great head start in a few commercialization ideas. Touring all these labs reminded me of my engineering background, but now I was looking at each of these projects as a potential start-up company instead of as an academic exercise. I've got a few more visits to go on before team selection. I hope to see all seven to get as much information as I can before team selection!
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Tonight we had a welcome reception at the home of Dr. Marie Thursby, the executive director and founder of the TI:GER program. It was a great time to mix and mingle with both the first year Ph.D. and law students, but also the second years. The second years provided a lot of insight about team formation, semester structure, and their personal successes and failures in the first year of the program. As this was our first social interaction (with great catering!) it also provided a chance to meet the JD and Ph.D students in an informal setting. Finding a team with personalities that mesh will be essential to a productive TI:GER project team and this party let me get some early insight into potential team members. I was also able to snag some fun pictures of us socializing. Lab visits are coming up next week; I’m excited to start to see what projects these Ph.D.’s are working on!
In our first TI:GER class, after reviewing the program and goals for the semester, we learned about non-disclosure agreements. A guest speaker, Phillip A. Cooper from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, gave a presentation about both the purpose and clauses of these agreements. Although I have signed several NDA’s in the past as an employee, it was very helpful to have them described in more detail. As the TI:GER teams develop their ideas into business plans, we will have the option to create non-disclosure agreements for those that assist or consult with us. Fully understanding these complex agreements will allow us to know when to use them, when to sign them in the course of our projects, and what exactly the implications of the agreements are.
My name is Malcolm Neave and I’m a first year MBA student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Although I worked as a salesman, I’ve returned to business school to focus on entrepreneurship and strategic management. Key in helping me transition successfully is the award winning TI:GER® program.
What is TI:GER? TI:GER (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results) is a cross-functional teamwork based program that focuses on commercializing new technologies. The program is composed of three classes (four for MBA students) taken over two years. These courses teach basic concepts of innovation and commercialization from intellectual property analysis to company valuation. They also focus on issues faced by tech start-ups, such as funding strategies and project management planning. Although the course lectures are important, at the center of the TI:GER program is the group project. Each team is composed of a Georgia Tech science or engineering Ph.D., two Georgia Tech MBAs, and two Emory law students that work together to bring the Ph.D student’s research to market. These teams go through the entire entrepreneurship process, applying information learned in class to put together business plans, industry analyses, and proposal presentations.