Early stage companies develop similar to toddlers – some capabilities are acquired much more quickly than others. When evaluating a company as a potential investment, it an be frustrating to suddenly realize that abilities and infrastructure that you had assumed to exist – that you had bet on existing – are simply not there.
At Heron Scientific, we have deep expertise in early stage technology development, especially in groundbreaking technologies that rely on materials, mechanics, or electronic advancements as their key differentiators. Truly new-to-the-world technologies are the most difficult to evaluate, because there are no existing experts to provide guidance, nor market roadmaps to provide evidence of demand. To attack these problems, we use a well-defined process to assess “risk-at-maturity”, establishing how well a company has advanced along multiple metrics, including pure technology, scalability, execution, partnership, and ability to articulate the market.
As an example, we evaluated a company developing a breakthrough energy storage technology that used graphene as electrodes. It was technically neither a battery nor a capacitor, though it claimed to compete directly with both. We answered questions such as:
- Was this breakthrough even technically possible?
- If possible, was it scalable?
- Was the company’s development plan realistic?
- Where were the most likely places to look for surprises?
For groundbreaking innovations, these questions can only be answered effectively by simultaneously analyzing the opportunity from both a technical and business standpoint, building on a first principles understanding of the details. With our expertise and processes, Heron Scientific will reduce surprises and disappointments, and improve overall return on investment.