A: Winning the Phase II will give us two years
to do the R&D to develop the product. It would allow us to test our product in the field and validate
that it works for our customers.
Q: What was your experience with Lean
A: It was a great experience both through the
NSF Bootcamp and a course at Haas School
of Business called “Cleantech to Market.” We
conducted customer interviews, determined entry
points for our target market and dug in deeper
to understand customer pain points. For two lab
scientists, getting out of the building, so to speak,
was very important.
Q: In what ways did the Larta Commer-
cialization Assistance Program help you?
A: Larta provided a great framework for us to
figure out the important elements in the commercialization plan. We received very helpful instructions and templates to use as a starting point.
This helped us build a concrete plan moving
Q: What was your experience with the
Larta mentor assigned to you?
A: It was very helpful to have a sounding board;
someone to provide feedback on a weekly basis.
Talking to an advisor who didn’t know our history
gave us a different perspective compared to our
other advisors who were with us from the beginning.
Q: How do you compare and contrast lean
principles and the commercialization assis-
A: They’re very complementary with not much
overlap. The focus is different. Lean Startup got
us out there to understand what the customer
perspective is. The Larta support is focused
on the company and business model, and how
to structure the business to address customer
needs. They are two sides of the same story–the
customer side and business side.
Q: As you build up your business model,
what are your thoughts about being consid-
ered for acquisition?
A: Over the last six months with Larta and
what we’ve learned through Lean Startup, we’ve
matured as a company. The market, our business
model and proving that our product works are
crucial–all those elements make a small company
Science-based startups have a long road
ahead to get their technologies to market. As they
actively work with interested parties–prospects,
customers, investors and corporate partners–they
can gauge the maturity of their business model
and more accurately forecast their growth. Without additional assistance found in supplemental
programs provided by government agencies,
the risk of failure increases. But with that help,
technology can be proven, possibly acquired and
eventually become a positive impact on millions
of lives. ●
Lance Manning, CEO of LanguageMAPS, a
Department of Homeland Security company