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Picking the right channel to market

A couple of years ago my good friend Wendy Kennedy told me she was writing a book about commercializing inventions — a handbook for entrepreneurship,  targeted at technologists.  Titled “So What? Who Cares? Why You?”, it’s published now, and I’ve written about it a couple times.  Don’t look for it at Amazon, or in your local bookstore, though. While it’s true that you can buy it direct from her website, in typical fashion b-school professor fashion, Wendy evaluated her channels to market and focused on licensing the content to educators.  Thursday, she announced her latest success — a license with the University of Central Florida.

The traditional book channel makes heavy demands on publishers. Moreover, the book channel is primarily about mass marketing books.  It’s an inefficient way to reach her market!  By licensing the content to a small number of institutions, Wendy gains leverage and focus in reaching her market, and retains more of the profits from the book.  The obvious channels aren’t always the best channels, which is worth remembering as you build your own channel strategy.

Wendy’s announcement about the UCF deal is below.

Wendy Kennedy                                                                                 Courtney Hurst

“So what? who cares? why you?”                                                      Metis Communications
613-851-6621                                                                                  617-236-0500
wendy@wendykennedy.com                                                             courtney@metiscomm.com 

University of Central Florida Implements University-wide Adoption of
“So what? who cares? why you?™: The Inventor’s Commercialization Toolkit” 

Wendy Kennedy’s Methodology and Book Becomes the UCF Standard Tool
for Commercial Assessment of Emerging Technology and Business Ideas 

Ottawa, Canada, February 15, 2007 – Wendy Kennedy, a seasoned technology industry executive, award-winning professor and author, today announced that the University of Central Florida (UCF), the nation’s 7th largest university, is adopting “So what? who cares? why you?™: The Inventor’s Commercialization Toolkit” as its standard tool for commercial assessment within its academic and technology transfer organizations.  Kennedy’s methodology and supporting services will arm the entire university, including its Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Technology Transfer Office, with the tools needed to distill the business value of inventions and ideas.       

The UCF Technology Transfer Office is implementing “So what? who cares? why you?” as part of its commercialization assessment process, using the workbook to evaluate invention disclosures.  Kennedy works closely with UCF on implementing the methodology to leverage initiatives underway and help bring ideas from lab to life.  So what? who cares? why you? is also being used in both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship courses at UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  In her package of services, Kennedy assisted UCF in the creation of a course syllabus structured to complement the book and provided professors with support materials, including an integrated real-world case study to complement the key learning outcomes identified in the syllabus.    

“By adopting ‘So what? who cares? why you?’ university wide, we implemented a much-needed, standard approach and language for commercial assessment,” said Joe Giampapa, Associate Director of Technology Transfer at UCF.  “Kennedy’s methodology and resources distill the commercialization assessment process into three simple to understand – but not always simple to answer – components.  I brought Wendy’s book into UFC to help ensure that great ideas get commercialized and to help bridge the connection between the scientific and business worlds to foster meaningful innovation.”

“So what? who cares? why you?” is a proven methodology developed for – and with – inventors, scientists and technology entrepreneurs to evaluate scientific and technical ideas.  The adoption of Kennedy’s step-by-step toolkit provides a common framework and language across multiple UCF departments, equipping faculty, students, inventors and entrepreneurs to self-educate and understand the essentials of venture creation through a standard procedure.  In addition to the book, UCF students and staff have access to The ToolShed, an online knowledge portal that supports the methodology with tutorials, downloadable templates, narrated walk-thru examples and annotated reference materials. 

”As an award-winning university recognized for its strides in research and incubation, University of Central Florida is a national leader in entrepreneurship education, research commercialization, venture creation and economic development partnerships,” said Kennedy.  “UCF is committed to implementing a standard approach to assess commercialization opportunities and I am committed to helping them with this implementation and helping them bring their labs to life.”

About The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) was formed as an initiative by the UCF College of Business Administration. The CEI offers training to those who create and lead new business ventures, by providing educational programs, research facilities, networking opportunities, business plan showcase events, and access to business thought leaders. The CEI efforts foster an expanding network of mutually beneficial university, business, and government partnerships that promote Central Florida’s economic development and quality of life. For more information please visit www.cei.ucf.edu.

About The University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida is a public, multi-campus, metropolitan research university, dedicated to serving its surrounding communities with their diverse and expanding populations, technological corridors, and international partners. The mission of the university is to offer high-quality undergraduate and graduate education, student development, and continuing education; to conduct research and creative activities; and to provide services that enhance the intellectual, cultural, environmental, and economic development of the metropolitan region, address national and international issues in key areas, establish UCF as a major presence, and contribute to the global community.

About Wendy Kennedy
Best described as an “entrepreneurial professor,” Wendy has spent more than 20 years working with high-growth technology companies, universities, research labs and industry associations on the commercialization of ideas.  She was a business school professor for 13 years and has worked globally to implement So what? who cares? why you?™ to assist organizations with bringing ideas from lab to life.  Her book is one of a series of supporting services, which include workshops, seminars and consulting.  She is a frequent speaker at many industry conferences and organizations such as MaRS, Young Inventors International, National Research Council of Canada, The Innovation Council, Alliance for Commercialization of Canadian Technology (ACCT) and the Technology Transfer Society. 

Please visit www.wendykennedy.com/ucf  for further information.   


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