eugene_fitzgerald.jpgDay 11, Monday 4th Feb: To start off week 3 Eugene Fitzgerald Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT gave a seminar titled “Amberwave: Innovation in Science and Technology”. This talk focused primarily around his experiences in bringing Amberwave, a company he co-founded, to fruition. A few points from Eugene’s talk:
– There are distinct periods that focus either on Services/Know-how or IP (patenting)
– Its essential for already wealthy countries to embrace immigration in order to drive an innovative society
– Amberwave persisted with their IP/patenting strategy and managed to win against a huge Bluechip which now licences their technology, allowing them to redirect resources and enter new markets

bo_fishback_200.jpgOn Monday I also met with Bo Fishback, the VP of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. Bo was an absolute delight and pleasure to talk to. Coming from a techie background we found lots of common ground for interesting discussion. In particular we discovered a very common ground on one particular project on which I’m currently working. Bo is a very passionate entrepreneur. His enthusiasm is contagious and his energy has a magnetic affect on you. All this said I endeavour to always approach even the most favourable of situations objectively and with a level head – so I discussed this particular project and many other ideas I have with Bo. Likewise, he detailed some of the projects he has on the back burner – interesting indeed! I plan on meeting with Bo again ASAP for a discussion targeted at REHEAT.
         One point Bo made to me was regards determining ‘Product Market Fit’. His take on this was that one has to discover where the natural boundary between ‘technology push’ and ‘market pull’ lies. This may sound obvious but figuring this out with any product is the key to survival! He also suggested one approach to innovation which involves envisaging the future of your market of interest and regressing to the present – the skill lies in the regression and how one determines incremental steps along this path. On a random note, Bo a couple of interesting organisations he point out to me: Rave Wireless, The Foundry.

In the evening Carl Schramm hosted all the Global Scholars at his favourite BBQ joint in KC – jack’s stack. He, humorously, insisted on ordering for all 12 of us!! The food was fantastic and the conversation with Carl’s other guests, Michael Levin and Frank Douglas, was intriguing.

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