Early-Stage is In!
yet2 project teams have been seeing a recent trend in which clients aren’t just becoming more open to early-stage technologies but specifically prefer them over later-stage, more proven technologies.
When scouting for external technologies, yet2’s large corporate clients historically have been interested in more mature technologies that unlock turn-key integration into their product development plans. These technologies are typically well beyond proof of concept, recently commercialized, and proven at a certain scale where integration and path to market for the large company is shorter and less risky. On the other hand, earlier stage technologies often require additional R&D and commercial investment, and significant time to bring to market; they carry a lot of risk typically avoided by large company product development teams.
Despite the additional challenges, early-stage technologies are becoming increasingly of interest to yet2’s clients. A few of the common reasons we observe around this shift in preference are:
Late-comers to a technology innovation space.
yet2 often partners with companies that are new to Open Innovation and therefore late to exploring new technologies being developed by external solution providers. When competitors have a head start in a particular technology innovation space, they’ve already likely discovered and partnered with the most promising late-stage opportunities by the time the client has kicked off their scouting. To find the companies and technologies that their competitors missed or haven’t yet locked up in an exclusive partnership, clients work with yet2 to set a scouting strategy that prioritizes early-stage opportunities over later-stage.
Seeking a technology to identify the next great monopoly.
A recent yet2 client in the personal care space has held a monopoly around a specific category for almost 20 years. Their dominance in this category is because of superior product performance made possible by the technical properties of their patented ingredients and formulation. As this patent expiration date on this enabling technology fast approaches, this company partnered with yet2 for help scouting for new, emerging ingredients and formulations to replace it. Early-stage solutions was a key scope requirement for this project as the client was looking to identify patentable, or recently patented, ingredients or formulations so they could continue to protect their monopoly on this niche product category for another 20 years.
Long-term strategic investment in a technology space.
Recently, a large company hired yet2 to run a global landscape project to identify emerging technology approaches and companies in a specific technology space they believe will drive the future of their industry and organization. While the client already heavily invests and partners with companies in this space, they looked to yet2 to help them open their aperture and new entrants that are working on cutting edge technologies with a 3-5+ year commercialization timeline. They not only want to stay on top of cutting-edge innovation in this space but identify early-stage companies they can partner with to help commercialize the technology and shape the product roadmap.
These are just a few recent trends we’ve seen and there are of course many other reasons for preferring early-stage, including university-level research and technology. Whether you’re interested in early or late-stage solutions, yet2’s 8-channel scouting network and suite of technology scouting services can help you turn over all stones and find the most promising solutions to your needs.
Contact us to learn more.