The AUTM Annual Meeting is a great place for corporate technology scouts and business development teams to discover emerging university technologies. However, with over 500 attendees and three days of sessions, learning about every new invention just isn’t possible. To make the most out of your AUTM experience be sure to track opportunities on the fly, avoid overlap with colleagues, and expand your reach beyond the physical event.
Track opportunities on the fly
How do you plan on capturing all of the information you collect at the show? Most tech scouts rely on handwritten notes, email, and their own memories. Tracking interactions like this has obvious drawbacks; as a corporate technology scout, you are bombarded with information about new technologies with varying relevance to your own goals. Capturing that information on the fly is critical to covering all of your bases. A technology opportunity that may not be relevant to you could be exactly what one of your colleagues in another division is after.
The best technology scouts are able to quickly and securely store all of the relevant new technology information they come across. A big part of that is leveraging a centralized database for tracking contacts, interactions, documents, and even negotiations. When scouts are at a busy show like AUTM accessing a database, adding information, and sharing results with team members needs to be quick and simple. One way to ensure that your team makes the most out of AUTM 2017 is by leveraging a purpose built database for technology scouting.
Of course, most companies send whole teams of scouts to like AUTM. This helps ensure that no stone is left unturned in the hunt for new technology, but it also leads to duplicated work as different scouts interact with the same licensing managers.
A plan of attack can help you avoid duplicated conversations, but as the old saying goes “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. As people network throughout the show it becomes more difficult to track who has talked to whom. That’s why top scouting groups arrange automated workflows for new technology assessments. When one team member discovers a technology that could be interesting, they add that opportunity to evaluation software that then automatically sends assessment score cards to designated team members. These team members then receive alerts about the new opportunity and are assigned assessment tasks. This whole process is automated and ensures that everyone stays on the same page.
Move Past Physical Events
Shows like AUTM are great; conferences and tradeshows like AUTM provide a physical space for scouts and universities to interact and share ideas. However, AUTM is also chaotic and short. The time you have to meet with prospects, learn about technologies, and sync up with your team is limited. One way to get past these issues is to leverage an online marketplace for early stage technologies like Flintbox.
Flintbox contains over 20,000 university technologies from universities all over the world. Early stage opportunities are organized, searchable, and often available for licensing with the click of a button. Better still, with online databases such as Flintbox, scouts can set alerts for keywords related to strategic initiatives. The face time that you will get at AUTM is incredibly valuable, but online markets can offer a similar experience with far less stress.