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Boffins value business help

A LACK of managerial and business skill has been identified as one of the major problems facing innovators who want to commercialise their research breakthrough.

“Without any shadow of doubt the biggest single problem that confronts the businesses we talk to here is that they do not have any idea how to make themselves investor ready,” VentureAxess’ Geoff Mullins said.

“They just don’t know and there don’t seem to be many people around here who can tell them.

“They don’t know how to present to investors, they don’t know what investors look for, they don’t know their point of differentiation, they can’t work out what to do with their intellectual property or how to manage it sensibly.

“We all get lots of deals across our desk [but] you don’t have time to nurture them through, so you just move on.”

Mainsheet Corporate’s Maurice Argento also expressed concern about the lack of management skill.

“Every time we go to the east coast to talk to a financier, they say ‘great idea but what’s the management like’?

“You can have the greatest idea in the world but it’s still not going to happen.

“People may be very entrepreneurial and have great skills but cannot make the jump to the next level.”

Entrepreneurs in Residence’s Greg Riebe echoed this concern.

“People are passionate about their widget but they aren’t passionate about their business,” he said.

“I think there is a market failure in terms of funding but it’s the last thing you have to deal with.

“If you get the proposition right, you will find the money somewhere.

“I think its that services side where there is a real failure.”

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