As this is my first post, just to set expectations, what you should expect to see are some counterintuitive views that stimulate thinking and ideally lead us collectively to a more productive environment for bringing high quality emerging technologies to market. With that behind us, let’s jump right in.
After spending 7 ½ years helping to build Lux Research, I’ve decided to enter the next phase of my career at Harris & Harris Group. I’ve been asked many times, “Why are you making the move?” For those that know me, they understand that I’ve been thinking through how technologies get commercialized and the role that the small company, large company and financial partners play in ensuring that the process is optimized.
If you looked at emerging technology 5-10 years ago, those companies that did not get funded were not quality technologies, did not have the right management team or did not understand their path to success very well. However, that has all changed.
Over the last few years, there are many quality ideas and companies that have struggled to obtain funding despite having quality teams, solid technology and a reasonable understanding of the market s that they want to enter. In an environment like this, finding an opportunity to deploy capital in a relatively short period of time seemed like an ideal opportunity.
Now, with regards to nanotechnology, it is easy for those of us that were at the early stages to think that the field is mature. However, that could not be farther from the truth. According to Lux Research, almost $2 Trillion of nano-enabled products will be sold in 2015. That number is staggering! But where has all of the hype gone?
About a year ago, I was sitting at a major multinational chemical company and a gentleman said “Five years ago, we were wondering what nanotechnology meant to us. Today, nanotechnology and developments at the nanoscale are fundamental to our ENTIRE company.” This is an equally stunning statement.
So, $2 Trillion in potential revenue, major corporations with strategic commitment to the field and a sub-optimized investment landscape combined with a publicly traded venture fund that has more flexibility in how it can approach the market due to the permanent capital structure. For me, it clearly was the perfect combination. Over the coming weeks, our team will be posting blogs about the impact that nanotechnology is having today and likely to have on major global megatrends.
Whether it’s more cleanly extracting fossil fuels, developing novel therapeutics or enabling that next major breakthrough in computing, nanotechnology is at the core of the materials revolution. At Harris & Harris Group, we fully expect to be right in the middle of the groundbreaking developments.