Thursday, January 28, 2016

All In

At 600 feet, the engine stopped, and we’re falling…. fast. Over 2000 feet per minute, which gives me a little less than 18 seconds to do something before we hit the ground. And we have no parachute.

Sitting through hundreds of hours of lectures, reading, studying and talking about theory and procedures, while a crucial foundation before this day, was no comparison to actually living in and experiencing that moment: when I completed my first helicopter autorotation during advanced flight training. My saving grace was that an experienced flight instructor sat next to me, ready to save us had I failed to act, or to correct the controls had I acted wrongly, coaching me as I landed us safely with only a few small bumps. I’m sure the outcome would have been much different without the luxury of having this mentor guide me during my first time through.

This is TI:GER.

It is not some theoretical mumbo jumbo that we may apply one day. Sure it feels like I’m standing in front of an open fire hose, being beaten with excessive information through a heavier course load, massive amounts of reading, many (but relevant, guest expert-led) lectures, discussions and lots of work (including patent filing, intellectual property freedom to operate, industry analysis, and currently working on funding, customer discovery, and a commercialization plan). It is challenging. But what makes this different… better… worth it, is that we are living it, experiencing it, testing it, as we work to try to actually commercialize a cutting edge technology and form a company.

I am humbled to be part of a brilliant team working to commercialize a new additive manufacturing technology (ahem… sorry Margi… “3D printing”) which “prints” lighter/stronger production-grade composites (carbon fiber, Kevlar, etc). Led by the Georgia Tech PhD who invented the technology, Chris Oberste, our “dream TI:GER team” was the first to form this year, taking in incredible talent with our Emory University JD’s Daniel Ledesma and Nathan North and my Scheller MBA counterpart Akshay Saxena. We’ve already made incredible strides towards our goal.

TI:GER is an entrepreneurial accelerator that thrusts you beyond the books into the action.

Just as the flight instructor was there during my initial helicopter flights to increase safety, as we go through TI:GER, we are not alone. We are surrounded by dedicated advisors and current field-expert business and legal mentors, hand selected to match their expertise with our technology. They are there guiding us, helping to prevent us from making catastrophic (or, at least, costly) mistakes, allowing us to learn the process through doing while having a safety net should we falter along the way.

This next year is going to be awesome. I’m all in.

Lewis Motion
TI:GER Class of 2017

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Insights from Team NanoCliq...

I am Vibin with team NanoCliq. We are a second year Ti:GER team working in the immunotherapeutic space. My teammates are Rob Demont (PhD), Indra Datta (MBA), Bunny Sandefur (JD) and Nikki Leung (JD).  Our technology helps pharmaceutical companies reduce their preclinical testing time and shaves as much as 2-years off the drug discovery period. This translates to 2-years of additional patent protected revenue and for each blockbuster drugs that translates to at least $1 billion in additional revenue/year. We are a technology that serves the pharma world without getting caught in the muck of FDA approval. How cool is that!? Our market size in preclinical testing across all immunotherapeutics is estimated at $20 billion a year. Yes! We will turn into corporate leviathans, hell bent on world domination if things work out.

That’s us on the podium
Instead of boring y’all with further details of how cool the technology is, I thought I will give you a brief overview of what is ahead for us. We are on the cusp of getting this technology to market. One large pharmaceutical company initiated contact with us (name withheld for no reason other than to sound mysterious) and we are in discussions to get a first pilot going. This semester we worked on putting some structure to the business model and presenting it to the larger audience. We represented TI:GER at the Georgia Bio Innovation conference this November. For us, it was important to get the word out about NanoCliq and possibly find out at least two more partners to enter into a pilot project. 

For those who don’t know what GaBio Summit is, please see the links below:

                                                                                              So what Next?
The full team in close up!
We have to iron out the details of our business model. The devil is unfortunately in the details. We have an idea of how we will make the revenue, what could the costs be and who are the partners required to get to market. That however will not be sufficient. We will have to structure the exact details, so that we can start negotiating for a deal with the pilot partners. This is going to be a lot of work, but we have an awesome team to get the things done. Before I wind up, a shout out to our awesome mentors MG. Finn, Richard DiMonda and Gary Busch.  Rich and MG went with us through every step of the process and we have a business model because of their help.  Also a big thank you to Bob McNally who sat with us and made GaBio Summit happen.

A final word on TI:GER:
It’s not possible to take something complex like an Immunotherapeutic technology to the market place without having a structure to frame the business. TI:GER is one of the most awesome programs to make this happen. TI:GER provides a solid dependable team, an extremely structured academic framework and super well connected and experienced network to make things happen. This program was the single most awesome experience in my entire educational experience till date.