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Win partners by letting them see what you're made of--with a "portfolio" of your patented technology.

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This story appears in the September 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If your growing company has proprietary technology and you'dlike to expand your business beyond your current markets, you caneither pursue alliances with larger businesses, license yourtechnology to other users or spend your resources for more internaldevelopment. The most successful way to expand appears to bethrough external partnerships, and the best way to do that is byturning your internally generated technology into a"portfolio" of resources.

In "Leveraging the Value of Proprietary Technologies"(Journal of Small Business Management, January 2002), DonnaKelley and Mark Rice studied 67 emerging firms in the computer andtelecom industries during their first nine years of operation andthe success factors used to build marketing alliances usingintellectual property (IP). They found that the condition andpackaging of your company's IP is far more important in gettingexternal partnerships than your sales force, your years inbusiness, your senior management team or your current customerbase.

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