Nine “P’s” to a successful technology commercialization proposal

  • Published: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019


  • Must address an identified need of a participating agency — identify the problem
  • Significant societal, economic and technical benefits to solving
  • Must be innovative
    • Something new
    • Something old made significantly better
    • New combination of technologies
    • New application of technologies
  • Order of magnitude improvement over existing solutions

Product evaluation

  • Answer the following questions:
    • What does your product/service do?
    • How is it different from others?
    • Who will buy it?
    • Why will they buy it?
    • Where will you sell it?
    • What are the environmental issues?


  • Describe any new intellectual property (IP) being developed
  • Plans for obtaining sufficient IP protection to build a sustainable business
  • Patentability
  • Intellectual property ownership 
  • Overcoming ownership challenges
  • Licensing strategy 
  • Costs of IP protection/sharing


  • Describe the marketplace environment
  • Describe size of market and targeted customer
  • Market growth rate
  • The number of potential transactions
  • Typical price per transaction
  • Fully describe the competition
  • Ability of market to support and sustain another business entity
  • Specify companies identified for commitments

    Market research resources

  • Free sources (secondary): Internet or library
  • Paid sources (secondary): Trade association reports or books
    Independent research (primary):
  • Interview clients and customers
  • Other businesses


  • Describe pricing strategies
  • Describe competitor pricing
  • Price relative to value
  • Explain gross margin
  • Explain “negotiated” prices
  • Price should cover all costs (prototype, manufacturing costs and sunk costs)
  • Estimate sales potential based on pricing strategy
  • Reflect these numbers in the pro forma financials


  • Describe where activities will be accomplished
  • Show geographic location — small maps are good!
  • Provide history, present status and future plans
  • Describe the logic for selecting location
  • Identify size of building and/or requirements
  • List special equipment needed
  • Address power requirements, if any
  • Discuss environmental issues, potential/real
  • Address legal issues with location
  • Explain the distribution plan


  • Explain how you will make target customers aware of your product or service
  • Explain how you will get target customers to buy your product or service


  • Processes for production, inventory, delivery and service after the sale
  • Core technological competencies — equipment and infrastructure — ISO certification
  • Required resources
  • Record of commercialization success
  • Environmental concerns resulting from manufacturing operations
  • “Green” business


  • Explain how the company will be managed
  • Management team biographical sketches
  • Board of directors/advisors
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Management compensation
  • Employee incentives
  • Personnel policies
  • Staffing requirements
  • Outside professional services (accountants, consultants, universities, other businesses, etc.)


  • Describe how you will make money
  • Detail how much funding you need
  • Describe where you’re going to get funding
  • Describe unique expenses
  • Explain assumptions — line by line from pro forma
    • Revenues and expenses
    • Projections
      • Income statement
      • Balance sheet
      • Cash flow statement
    •  Debt service ratio