Taking an idea to the market involves lot of steps that need to be considered carefully. By discovering a solution to a problem is a small but essential first step. Once you have the solution, the immediate step is market viability analysis. This is where people make lot of assumptions. In some cases, people pursue customer discovery phase, while others choose to dig into literature to estimate the market size.
Either way, the question needs to be asked is what is the strategy and are there any customers ready to pay for your product (not technology). If so, how much and where to find these "pay-ready" customers. Very often the inventors are biased - emotionally connected to their product. Thus, the significant failure rate: more than 90% of startups fail in less than 2 years, less than 5% ever cross "valley of death", less than 3% ever raise Series A and less than 1% ever become a Unicorn (billion dollar valuation). Where to start?
Developing a commercially viable strategy for your idea
One of our clients (a Professor) came up with a brilliant idea. Researchers spend a lot of time reading the publications. Can we reduce this time and increase their productivity? His solution was to leverage artificial intelligence and synthesize the publications to generate simple insights. As much as it sounds cool, it has to fill a commercial gap.
Taking this idea and developing a commercially viable strategy requires satisfying lot of steps starting from the problem statement. We redefined the problem, expanded the Total Accessible Market (TAM), identified the right value proposition, identified competitors, quantified the market size, and refined the solution. In addition, we have identified potential partners including investment avenues, and developed a strategy that made it a commercially viable startup.
From commercialization perspective, healthcare solutions are is easier to quantify. The reason being the "problem statement" is almost always defined. It is simple math: as long as the diseases exist, the problems are well defined. Our client wanted to repurpose an existing cancer drug for neuro-degeneration (alzheimer's, dementia, etc) and developmental disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ADS) etc).
The first step in commercialization of any healthcare solution is the accuracy of the market size. Though there are lot of problems (read diseases), not all of them are interest to the for profits (pharma). Some might be routed through non-profit initiatives. We have developed the commercialization strategy, defined deployment steps including identifying investors and legal nuances.
Starting a research institutions is a multi-faceted challenge: funding ecosystem (govt, pvt and philanthropy), recruiting top notch investigators and collaborators , and the most important one is establishing the infrastructure within the local regulatory framework. This is especially a challenge in countries such as India where the research ecosystem is still emerging.
For an investigator in India, we have established all the strategic pillars required for a research institute. We developed the research strategy, identified the funding mechanisms, identified the team members, and established the product and research pipelines. We opened our network of international collaborators to team up with the institute. We worked on the expansion of the vision to incorporate not only research but also downstream processes.