Archive for the Uncategorized Category

It is Start-up Time!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2009 by lmdiorio

So they say we’re in a recession.  We have that going for us! No really – we DO!  A great article with Carl Schramm from the Kauffman Foundation in INC discusses why great start-ups happen in times of recession.

Reiterating Carl Schramm – remember these in tough times:

  • We shouldn’t despair – things actually do grow in the dark
  • We may be moving downhill but emerging start-ups tend to hold their ground and move up hill
  • Health care and energy – focus on IT
  • Not all start-ups happen during the bad times however some do: UPS, Allstate, Amgen, EA, Whole Foods
  • Don’t smoke or drink coffee you wouldn’t want to “stunt” your start-ups’ growth

Summer, Summer, Summer Time!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by lmdiorio

Memorial day has passed and it is officially summer time!  I had a great weekend in Bethany Beach, DE this Memorial Day weekend and the skinned was burned and now peeling to prove it.  Normally when you work with Academia the summer is a nice quiet few months, however this year seems like it may be a bit busier than usual.  Given the state of the economy – I welcome it with open arms.

With the summer comes vacation, the beach, the pool and one of my favorites – Grilling.  I don’t own a home or have outdoor space so I’m forced to grill on my sidewalk.  That is right, I said sidewalk.  I call it grilling 35th Place style.  I have 2 small tailgating grills that I fire up with some charcoal and some outdoor chairs for people to sit and enjoy.  In case it gets cold, I even have a firepit to light up.  I run an extension cord from my apartment so I can plug in the iPod and listen to some tunes.   I’ve grilled with one friend and I’ve grilled with 30 friends.  No matter what it – it is always a great time.  The food may burn or taste like charcoal but it is about the company that is important.

I have been to some BBQs and grilled out where the food was fantastic but the people were duds.  I pride myself on trying to have at least good food but definitely having fun!  It may take an hour to get the grill hot, dogs may fall off of it, chicken and fish may stick to it and burgers may burn but if you have an ice cold beer and good company – who cares.

As the summer progresses and we break out the dogs and ribs on the grill – remember have fun.  If you have to try and impress your friends with gourmet food from the grill and you’re not Bobby Flay – well they’re not your friends they are a bunch of blow hards.  However if you are Bobby Flay invite me over – I will bring the Crunk brew!

Finally Friday – Craigslist Ride of the Day

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2009 by lmdiorio

It is finally Friday!  It has been a long while since I’ve updated the Craigslist Ride of the Day.  It is supposed to be gorgeous weekend here in Washington, DC and wanted to share the ride of the day.

I can just see myself now taking a cruise tomorrow in this 1976 Cadillac Eldarado CONVERTIBLE! The red on  this car is so brilliant and to me just screams comfort and class!

So Baby Let’s Cruise!

Universities, Technology Transfer – Keys to Innovation – Yes We Can

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by lmdiorio

A colleague of mine forwarded to me Sramana Mitra’s posting on Forbes.com entitled: Key to Innovation: Universities.  I couldn’t agree more!  My company partners with over 75 different Universities and Research Institutions nationally and internationally in the field of technology transfer.  We work with them on the commercialization strategies of the research and IP that come from their laboratories and classrooms.  This post is great way to sum up the value of innovation that comes from University research: entrepreneurship, industry creation, job creation and profits.  What needs to be done is better put in the posting here:

“First, the U.S. still can, and needs to, lead the innovation charge. Second, within the U.S., the technology transfer from university to industry via entrepreneurship needs to become much more widespread, spanning not just the elite schools but infiltrating the entire U.S. higher education system. Third, the U.S. needs to teach the rest of the world how to develop a strong innovation infrastructure that leads to commercialization, entrepreneurship, industry creation, job creation and all the other well-known benefits of a thriving economy.”

I only take one issue with one piece of information in the post – Ms. Mitra focuses on MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon as her examples of success stories (and 12 others).  In regards to innovation and commercialization – I’m afraid that people focus on those with the most popular names.  There are way more than 12 others.  Working with over 75 different Universities gives me insight into the true value of innovation and technology transfer.  Just because another University doesn’t start-up a Google or do 10 start-ups a year, doesn’t mean that it isn’t as successful as the bigger players.  Sometimes there is much more value in deal flow and cash flow where a technology transfer office (TTO) is not only able to sustain itself (keeping people employed) while offering additional revenue opportunities to the inventor and Universities and transfering the technology to the marketplace for development.  I digress for a moment because this post is still incredibly relevant and important but I do think people should stop and take a look at their alma maters and see what technologies have been commercialized from the research there – I think you would be surprised to see some blockbusters in places a bit unknown.

Nonetheless – University innovations are important in faciltating economic and scientific development for civilzation – especially now.  Support is needed to continue the innovation pipeline – whether it is the next Google, a new way to harness renewable energy, a new therapeutic for cancer or as simple as an educational tool for students to learn Chemistry – we can only benefit.  It should be a priority and better put by Ms. Mitra:

“The world that emerges from the ashes of this financial crisis needs to put innovation as a central priority. And in doing so, beefing up the government-industry-academia collaboration is critical.”

Even YouTube has a section on Innovation – and notice the Universities!

And with Easter coming up – a little Jelly Belly for you —

Stimulating the Old Way

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 31, 2009 by lmdiorio

Driving home from work yesterday on Chain Bridge Road I saw a new home construction site and at the site there was a sign – “Stimulating the Old Way.”  The sign was fantastic and how true.  The home looked as if it has recently been framed and you could even smell the fresh sawdust.  It really made me think – building a new home, providing jobs, purchasing equipment and tools and obtaining financing.  All things that truly do stimulate the economy. I have even been doing my best to stimulate the economy (what little I can do) although I have never really been good at saving money to begin with.  I go to my local restaurants and I try to focus on my local stores and farmers markets.

Recently I’ve noticed an uptick in people with whom I’m connected with on LinkedIn changing their status to something like the following: “motivated Marketing Manager seeking a growth oriented position….”  Now, we have done what we can at my company to hire people who we are connected with and have speciality backgrounds as subcontractors but the work is not all specific to one specialty so it may not be enough  to keep someone afloat.  Nonetheless, we are trying to help keep money in their pockets or assist in paying for the little things like kids’ braces as times continue to be tough.  Without analyzing the ABC, TARP, XYZ and other stimulus/bailout/recovery plans – I just wonder how easy it is to do little things to if nothing else just help out – Stimulate the Old Way.

So – as Joe Dirt (pronounced Deertay – it’s French) says, “We must keep on, keeping on.” One day I’ll win the lottery and I can do as much Stimulating the Old Way as I can, until then I just try to do the little things.

St. Patty’s Day Green – the color of the future

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2009 by lmdiorio

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.   Today, as I put on my green argyle socks and my green tie to celebrate – I had a random thought.   Green is the color of the future.   And no this is not some shameless environmental plug.  Green is the color of spring, green is the color of money, Boston has the \”Green Monster,\” and yes it may be easy to be green!

In all of the negative energy that surrounds us these days, I could not help but think about how the color green could represent our positive movement into the future.  After all, our future really is only ours.  Spring is a time a new birth, where plants and animals emerge from a winter slumber to rise anew, fresh and ready for a new beginning.  We see the green grass brighten as each day goes by and we see the green stems of the beautiful tulips as they pop out of the ground.   A \”greenhorn\” is a rookie – someone new to something, someone learning, someone developing (this is my shameless Deadliest Catch plug).

Yes, green is the color of  money and yes money does not seem to be all around us but what if we strive to manage our lives and make them financially sound.  It means sustainance for our future.  At New Years Italians will eat lentils for good luck- they are green (sort of), they represent money and a hearty meal.

Anyway, I may be seeing Red but I\’m thinking Green.  Here\’s to the luck of the Irish.  Erin Go Bragh.

Promoting Innovation is now even more Important

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 5, 2009 by lmdiorio

At the end of February the Licensing Executive Society (LES) submitted a letter to the Obama administration promoting and supporting innovation as an economic engine.  The letter can be seen here.

I am a huge supporter of the efforts made by LES, AUTM and others in the promotion of innovation.  As stated in the letter, support for where there is innovation is truly “a sound system” for protecting the economy and as a result  “economies are robust and the quality of life is high.”  An important aspect of innovation is the protection of Intellectual Property (IP), however it is not the only element.   Innovation is mandated and empowered by the Constitution, granting rights to the inventors in order to experience exclusivity and in exchange society benefits both through quality life improvements and economics.  My field, technology transfer, focuses not solely on IP rights but mainly on commercialization supporting these 2 elements.

Need I remind you that we are in tough economic times right now, yet there are important initiatives that need to be maintained in order to support and promote innovation.  It is required that the systematic laws ensure that technology is brought from the “lab bench” to the marketplace.  LES calls for 3 main IP related initiatives that I too encourage: (1) provide gap funding for critical technology development, (2) preserve IP policies that promote both innovation and competition, and (3) support greater access to public and privately developed technology.