November 1, 2015: Last Sunday’s annual Formula 1 US Grand Prix in Austin inspires my essay this week. TechDrawl is nothing if not topical.
October 25, 2015: This past week our Qualifying Committee for the 2016 SXSW Accelerator met for our annual kickoff Happy Hour. You may not have SXSW on your mind right now, with important holidays like Halloween looming this weekend, but applications for the Accelerator are due November 6. We expect to have 500-600 for our committee of ten to review between then and November 18, to be followed by voting by expert judges scattered worldwide and the selection of the 48 on-stage finalists prior to Christmas.
October 18, 2015: This past week featured another edition of Bob Metcalfe’s StARTup Studio, in which three UT professor-led teams present business concepts resulting from their research. These are nearly always big, science-based ideas. This crop included nanomotors for detecting biomarkers; architectural glass that can selectively modulate both visible light and near-infrared heat-producing light; and magnet-free circulators to enable full duplex wireless transmission, effectively doubling the capacity of existing wireless networks.
October 11, 2015: This week we’ll continue journaling the progress of the biomedical startup in which I’m participating in Georgia. I spent most of the week there working with our software team and an array of Subject Matter Experts. Design Thinking, as pioneered at Stanford and commercialized by its spin-out IDEO, is our method of solution creation, as opposed to scientific problem solving. Relevant terms in this method are solution-focus, ambiguity, iteration, and human engagement.
October 4, 2015: If you’re a technology service provider to startups, you know that to be a difficult task. I’ve been on both sides of this issue over the years. We had to switch a major vendor in one deal this past week, which is always tough, even if it is just business and is for good reasons for all concerned. There are personal connections that are part of any such relationship, and those continue.
September 27, 2015: Jack Kerouac made the title above famous in his 1957 roman à clef about travels with the pioneers of the Beat and Counterculture generations in post-WWII America. I’m finding myself back on the road now in connection with my Georgia-based startup, but I’m working with pioneers in cancer care. In some ways they can aptly be described as counterculture to currently accepted Standards of Care for cancer patients.
September 20, 2015: This is an essay about motivation. Bob Metcalfe’s periodic StARTup Studio is an occasion for professors to present their startup ideas before a group of investors and other interested parties. Last week was one of these events, with presentations by three very accomplished professors in fields ranging from nanomembranes to Bayesian logic that minimizes sensor redundancy in deep water drilling to replacing traditional textbooks with apps.
September 13, 2015: Being actively involved in a promising biomedical startup continues to give me a steady source of material for my weekly essays. Last week we crossed the threshold of raising enough money to commence operations, and now the real work begins.
September 6, 2015: The living case study on the biomedical startup I’m advising continues after another full week on the road in North Georgia. We are still adding to our investor count but have reached Vr, feeling jet assisted as per the photo above, and are busy executing the early stages of the plan. The focus this week was on assembling the team, including our first set of tumor harvesting surgeons and additional resources in various medical science specialties that are part of our service offering.
August 30, 2015: Josh Baer presented his list of tips on starting the start at the Longhorn Startup Seminar this past Thursday. His focus was the student who in general wants to be an entrepreneur and start something, which describes many of the 138 enrolled in the class this semester. That objective requires coming up with an idea, identifying a market, finding a team, building an MVP, and plunging into business while the parents are still footing most of the overhead. It’s good advice for a very lean startup approach while you are in the cozy confines of university life.