Case Studies

Technology commercialization: Opportunity Assessment, Strategy, & Execution

Background & Business Challenge

A large organization engaged EIP to assess the market viability for an innovative power services technology, developed in-house, that it was targeting for commercialization. This institution has developed some of the most innovative technologies in use today, but sought EIP’s help and experience in market assessment, techno-economic modeling and business execution strategy.

Approach & Discovery

EIP’s team and the structure of the engagement allowed the client to get the comprehensive analysis they needed to answer critical commercialization questions quickly. It also gave access to experienced operational support to create real value in a flexible and cost effective manner. Below are some highlighted project tasks.

  • Provided comprehensive market analysis of the technology opportunity based on interviews with potential customers, vendors and strategic partners;
  • Conducted a detailed competitive analysis, including assessment of competitive advantages and pricing;
  • Built a comprehensive financial model, including detailed budgets;
  • Supported detailed business plan development;
  • Sourced and executed high value agreements with key strategic partners and customers;
  • Helped develop investor presentation materials and secure first outside capital;

• Supported basic company formation tasks including staffing, legal, structure and accounting; and

• Performed critical interim management roles allowing client to continue to execute while staffing up.

This engagement illustrates EIP’s capabilities at all stages in the development of an opportunity, the flexibility of our engagements, and the tangible value-add that EIP can provide. EIP’s ability to assess, quantify and test a market for a technology and then execute on business-building is unique.

EIP Impact

Phased in three month increments, this twelve month effort resulted in the launch of a new business. EIP drove and supported a smooth transition from concept to stand-alone company during the most critical time in its life-cycle. EIP completed a detailed market assessment that helped the client understand the potential for the technology, revealing the sustainable competitive advantage the technology provided and the market valued. The client benefited from EIP’s experience with similar ventures in the energy space and its ability to efficiently bridge an opportunity from the lab to the market. EIP developed the business concept, led the business plan creation, built the business case for raising capital, and executed on the business plan pre and post-funding. Understanding the market structure, EIP secured key third-party partners and customers through our network and experience. EIP also created a comprehensive financial model and secured equity investment.

Grid Operator Software Solution: Market & Product Validation

Background & Business Challenge

One of the largest R&D institutions in the world engaged Energy Intelligence Partners (EIP) to validate the market for a complex software product for utility clients. This high dollar, critical product was superior to others technically, but it had a complex sales process and the right buyers were hard to identify and reach, difficult to convince, and slow to act. Because of its experience and industry knowledge, EIP was chosen to perform market and product validation and was tasked to recommend a new go-to-market strategy.

Approach & Discovery

An intensive three-month effort of research and analysis, information distillation, and strategy development was followed by recommendations presented to C-level management. Below are project inputs and outputs.

Inputs

  • Technology and marketing collateral
  • Internal, external interviews with pilot participants, potential buyers, and thought leaders (conducted 15 external interviews with industry executives)
  • Secondary market research

Outputs

  • Market needs (actual not perceived)
  • What buyers use now
  • Value proposition of product
  • Buyer decision process map
  • Incumbent product and market positions
  • Product positioning recommendations
  • Pricing and channel recommendations
  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Customer targets

EIP narrowed in on the value proposition of the product and the buyer decision process while providing valuable market intelligence. It was learned that customers valued the product differently than it was being presented, and the pricing and distribution strategies did not align with the procurement practices of the customer. Recommendations were made on product positioning, pricing, channel partners, and a go-to-market strategy. Key strategic partners and potential customers were identified and engaged.

EIP Impact

EIP was able to be the bridge between the engineering team, the product manager, the sales force, and management to understand the product and each group’s goals for commercialization. Not only did EIP outline a repositioning of the product based on real customer and market feedback, we defined the true value proposition and recommended a new go-to-market strategy. In addition, valuable market intelligence was gathered from high-level primary resources, which allowed the client to make informed funding and resource decisions regarding how to pursue the opportunity. The EIP outreach also served as a form of marketing; 6 near-term leads wanted immediate follow-ups about the product. This project illustrates the value of EIP’s flexible, discrete engagements by its professional and knowledgeable team.

New Markets For Energy Technology

Background & Business Challenge

A growth-stage consumer products company engaged EIP to identify the best market and product opportunities for a new energy technology that could complement their core business. This engagement leveraged three aspects of EIP’s practice: 1) intimate knowledge of energy markets; 2) the technical proficiency to bridge engineering and management teams; and 3) experience creating new businesses from innovations.

Approach & Discovery

By engaging EIP, the client was able to explore a new opportunity while keeping its management team focused on its core business, which was important to its current investors. Through a phased and discrete engagement, EIP delivered huge value as an efficient and temporary team and answered complex commercialization questions quickly. Key tasks and accomplishments are listed below.

  • Defined technology strengths and compared to state-of-the-art in attractive markets;
  • Organized and led an internal ‘Blue Sky Session’ with management and key personnel to brainstorm and uncover non-obvious opportunities for the technology;
  • Developed market, product & partner criteria to filter potential opportunities (> 40 potential market applications considered);
  • Conducted 15 interviews to understand potential markets, quantify technology value proposition, and find product-market-fit;
  • Determined the value drivers, sales channels and best target customers and partners for the best-fit market opportunities;
  • Translated the best market opportunity into technical target specifications and worked closely with technology development team to optimize the product roadmap accordingly;
  • Identified and engaged with two key OEM and distribution partners, and procured hardware for JV development.

This project illustrates the unique value that the experienced EIP team can bring through its technical, market, and operational experience. The client was able to explore new market opportunities without the risk of distracting the management team or the expense of hiring full-time business development professionals.

EIP Impact

Over four months, EIP identified and developed three commercialization options for management to consider and presented a thorough analysis of those market segments. EIP recommended focusing on one market that was ripe for disruption and an ideal fit based on the client’s technology, capabilities, and goals. The client agreed with the assessment, and EIP delivered product attributes and design targets for entry into the new market based on primary research. EIP also developed and secured two strategic partners for future joint ventures in this new market.

EIP is a consulting firm that helps companies assess market opportunities, launch new ventures, or grow their business by providing expertise, marketing insights, and operational support.

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