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Spie Press Book

Commercialization Basics for the Photonics Industry
Author(s): David A. Krohn
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Book Description

The goal of commercialization is to implement the key elements necessary to transform good technology into meaningful products that can fulfill customer needs while remaining cost effective. Specifically, can the technology be the basis for meeting a defined customer need? Can it be reproduced consistently, and can it be manufactured cost effectively?

Most entrepreneurs have expertise in one or more of the critical areas of commercialization, but may lack key elements necessary for success. Commercialization Basics for the Photonics Industry serves as a roadmap for the commercialization process, helping identify and address roadblocks on the path to commercialization. Evaluation techniques will help determine the strength of a business opportunity and guide its development toward the best chance of success.

Book Details

Date Published: 2 January 2013
Pages: 178
ISBN: 9780819494825
Volume: PM234

Table of Contents
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1. Introduction
1.1 Goal
1.2 Background

2. Elements of Commercialization
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Schrello Analysis
2.3 Roadmap for Commercialization
2.4 Impact of Company Size
2.5 Commercialization and Government Contracts

3. Technology
3.1 Innovation
3.2 Technology Creation
3.3 Timescale for Innovation
3.4 Intellectual Property
3.5 Internal R&D
3.6 Strategic Alliances
3.7 Acquisitions
3.8 Technology Transfer
3.9 Competitive Technologies
3.10 Robust Technology

4. Technical Marketing
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Determining the Customer's Need
4.3 Determining the Size of Market
4.4 Market Timing
4.5 Determining Market Segmentation
4.6 Competitive Environment
4.7 Pricing
4.8 SWOT Analysis
4.9 Barriers to Entry
4.10 Marketing Plan
4.11 Sales Forecast
4.12 Other Market Considerations

5. Sales
5.1 Sales Team Skills
5.2 Point of Sale
5.3 Sales Structure
5.4 Sales Issues
5.5 Barriers to Entry
5.6 Value Proposition
5.7 Product Life-Cycle Management Stages
5.8 Sales Strategy
5.9 Market Communications Plan
5.10 Sales Forecast

6. Manufacturing
6.1 Elements
6.2 Manufacturing Cost
6.3 Outsourcing versus Internal Manufacturing
6.4 Process Flow
6.5 Cost Model
6.6 Manufacturing Capacity
6.7 Manufacturing Engineering
6.8 Manufacturing Analysis Tools
6.9 Quality
6.10 Documentation
6.11 ISO 9000
6.12 Commercialization Process

7. Business Plan
7.1 Overview
7.2 Executive Summary
7.3 Background
7.4 Mission
7.5 Market Analysis
7.6 Strategy
7.7 Sales
7.8 Competition
7.9 Technical Overview
7.10 Manufacturing Operations
7.11 Organizational Structure and Key Team Members
7.12 Risk Assessment
7.13 Financials
      7.13.1 Profit and loss statement
      7.13.2 Balance sheet
      7.13.3 Cash-flow statement
7.14 Financial Examples
7.15 Financial Analysis
7.16 Funding Request
7.17 Summary

8. Business Team
8.1 Overview
8.2. Team Characteristics
8.3 Business Team Needs
8.4 Business Team Transition
8.5 Board of Directors and Technical Advisory Board
8.6 Recruiting
8.7 Compensation

9. Funding
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Boot Strap
9.3 Angels
9.4 Venture Capital
9.5 Government Contracts
9.6 Business Bank Loans
9.7 U.S. Small Business Administration
9.8 Private Placements
9.9 State Business Development Agencies
9.10 Industrial Strategic Investors
9.11 Initial Public Offering
9.12 Funding within Large Companies

10. Entrepreneurial Management
10.1 Entrepreneurial Management Defined
10.2 Management Structure
10.3 People-Management Skills

11. What Does the Light on the Horizon Look Like?

12. Summary

Appendix I Market Research Firms

Appendix II Foreign Distributors of Photonic Products

Appendix III White Paper

Appendix IV Venture-Capital Firms



In the mid-1970s, I was working for a rather large photonics company whose market focus was defense and biomedical applications. In the development center, two teams were working on advanced materials for the fiber optic product line. At age 31, I headed up one team. The gentleman who headed up the other team was 61 years old. A business slow down occurred, and my counterpart got laid off. The key question was, how do I protect myself when I'm 31 so that I don't get laid off at 61? As I look back over 38 years, the answer is straightforward: understand the commercialization aspects of technology. This will help focus your product development activities in a manner that greatly increases the probability of business successes. The impact is twofold: the company benefits from better, more relevant products, and you benefit by being more valuable to the company.

From a photonics standpoint, Commercialization Basics for the Photonics Industry looks broadly at technology commercialization using photonic-specific examples. In general, the basic commercialization elements for technology also apply to photonics technology. Unique to photonics, market segmentation will also be an important part of the discussion.

I would like to thank my colleagues and coworkers at Exxon, EOTec, 3M, and the 115 companies for which I have provided consulting services, as well as Lightwave Advisors, for the experiences related to commercialization of photonics technology.

David A. Krohn
January 2013

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