Building a Winning Team

Last month, we looked at the profile of a good candidate for SBIR/STTR. Beyond having a brilliant innovation, building a team that can transition your early-stage idea to a marketable product is everything (even if you don’t pursue SBIR funding).

If you’re a technical founder, who will be your business partner and help you with customer discovery and eventually find your first customers?

If you’re an entrepreneur with an idea for something that may disrupt an industry, but no technical experience, where will you find the technical co-founder to help you bring this vision to light?

Are there outside advisors or consultants in the industry who can provide expertise to round out your company’s research or customer development?

Building a team that can transition your early-stage idea to a marketable product is everything whether or not you even pursue SBIR funding. The following tutorials from offer practical advice about building a team and partnering for SBIR/STTR.

Building a Winning Team

University Partnering

Finding Partners

Check out Chapter 2 of this month’s book recommendation, Build the Fort, for additional advice about finding skilled and talented partners.

And a final and the most important note: Build an inclusive and diverse team.

Bring on early team members that will set the stage for a company culture of wild innovation by bringing the knowledge and insight of different perspectives and communities. This isn’t just a kumbaya, fluffy ideal. Companies with diverse executive teams and employees are more innovative. Here are a couple of summaries that cite research and case studies:

Diversity Confirmed to Boost Innovation and Financial Results

How Diversity Can Drive Innovation

The Montana Innovation Partnership (MTIP) is based at Montana University TechLink Center. We are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Adminstration with additional funding from the Montana Department of Commerce.

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