Advice for technological entrepreneurs from an incubator
The best situation for a startup is to have at least two sections: a technological section and an administrator section, but both of them must have the same idea for the project. When they fail, even in the vision, their projects fail. Mario Alberto García Díaz, head of theBusiness incubator at the La Salle University, gives us some advice to start up an entrepreneurial project.
"Entrepreneurship is an initiative that a person has to change a status quo. Not all entrepreneurs end up creating a startup or a business, there are different fields in this status quo, for products and services, technological and cultural, among others", explained Mario Alberto García Díaz, head of the Business incubator at the La Salle University.
A technological entrepreneur is defined as a person who uses their knowledge to generate devices, thus translating science into technology: "In general, their product is the physical product that can somehow be backed as a result of technology. To find out whether a product is technologically innovative, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) must perform a review to find out the status of the technique, as it's possible that a researcher has an innovative technological product that is new for some people, but the status of the technique is not new, meaning that it cannot be registered.
Mario Alberto García Díaz, head of theBusiness incubator at the La Salle University.
A technological entrepreneur generates technology obtained from research. The application of this knowledge acquired from the research translates into technology. Technology as such can have different outcomes, as it must be registered and have operating rights. IMPI recognizes the inventive ability of the creator and grants the right to use that technology. Depending on the patent, industrial design or utility model methods, they have different options, such as use the technology rights, license them, transfer them or sell them, as they see fit.
"This is something that not all technological entrepreneurs know, they think that they have to take it through to the end of the project, and they're not comfortable until they see their production plant manufacturing the product they have developed. They don't necessarily have to do everything. By talking to certain people , they can be informed about the type of business that would suit them to put their technology to use", said the incubator.
The incubation process does not guarantee success
García Díaz explained that, in his experience, only 5 out of 10 projects that enter the incubation process are accepted, and only 3 complete the process. Of those 3, there is only 1 technological project in periods of six months to one year. In addition to investing in the registry and in technology, technological projects require many more resources at the time they go on the market", he warned.
García Díaz admits that completing the incubation process doesn't ensure that the projects will be successful. There are many variables when breaking onto the market, from making deals between partners to correct money management. When a relationship breaks down between partners, it comes down to the lack of knowledge of these types of projects, as they require a lot of effort and attention, and financial rewards are not seen in the short-term, but rather in the medium to long term, and this financial urgency creates conflicts", he explained.
"Entrepreneurs don't have to do everything on their own. The best situation for a startup is to have at least two sections: a technological section and an administrator section, but both of them must have the same idea for the project. When they fail, even in the vision, these projects fail. This is the most common mistake, entrepreneurs must sit down and come up with a clear vision for their project", advised the head of the incubator.
In his opinion, one of the main problems comes from the lack of corporate thinking, "believing that the project is the key to covering personal expenses is wrong, as they are thinking about the person, and not in the corporate project. It's impossible to work on a basis of an immediate reward. A startup is a long-term vision", he pointed out.