Workshop to Move Forward High-Tech Business Ideas

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: January 20, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Management, in partnership with BuffLink, the Health Care Industry Association and several other community resources, will present a three-day Pre-Seed Workshop, designed for people in the concept stage or early development of a technology company to help them move their ideas to the point where seed-level financing can be considered.

The event will be held on Jan. 24, 25 and Feb. 1 in the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, in the Jacobs Executive Development Center, 672 Delaware Ave.

The pilot workshop will involve six high-tech business ideas from UB and the Western New York area. The overall goals are to determine the extent to which each idea is of commercial merit, test each team's start-up fortitude and organize each idea to move forward.

The program will be 20 percent lecture and 80 percent hands-on working sessions. It will be a high-energy, fast-paced and motivational program with a slight competitive flair. The teams will be aligned with a known start-up coach from the area who will assist them during the workshop.

Each team will address the 20 most fundamental questions to be considered before starting a company. They will answer questions in a series of eight break-out sessions related to their technologies, their markets, their competition, their business potential and other key considerations.

Participants will create a number of deliverables (tables, charts, slides) during these break-out sessions. These deliverables will constitute the foundation of a 15-minute presentation that each team will give on the final day of the workshop to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs. Thes entrepreneurs then will provide feedback on the merit of each opportunity.

Organizers and sponsoring institutions include Judy Albers, vice president, Trillium Group; Thomas A. Palmer, partner, Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP; J. Montieth Estes, partner, Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP; Althea Luehrsen, executive director, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, UB School of Management; John Hannon, associate professor, UB School of Management; Woodrow Maggard, associate vice provost, UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach; Paul McAfee, entrepreneur-in-residence, University at Buffalo Technology Incubator; Alan Olhoeft, executive director, BuffLink, and Mark Wilson, principal, Initiatives Consulting.

The following companies are providing financial and in-kind support as sponsors:

* Dopkins and Company

* Brown and Brown Insurance Company

* New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences

* Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, UB School of Management

* eXubrio Group LLC

* Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP

* InfoTech Niagara

* UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR)

* Roswell Park Cancer Institute

* Erie County Industrial Development Agency

* BuffLink

Ultimately, the sponsoring organizations hope that this mechanism will spur the formation of new companies, provide additional revenues to the area and create jobs. For more information, contact Althea Luehrsen at the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at (716) 885-5715.