By Erin Wansbrough, Callaghan Innovation Business Innovation Group Manager
Getting an idea from concept to commercial reality means navigating many different steps. These include managing changing technologies, making the leap from proof of concept to product, accessing the right expertise, people and facilities, and choosing the right business model and markets to focus on.
Many companies who come to us for the first time have the beginnings of a great product or technology and are just looking for financial help to take it further. What they often don’t realise at first is that with end-to-end support and help navigating each step of the complex technology and product development process, they can achieve considerably greater success than otherwise might have been possible.
When Kiwa Digital, a production house for experiential digital books, first sat down with us we could see they were off to a strong start. They had a product with great potential, some patented intellectual property and the interest of a global film production company.
The company began as a post-production software company for film and television production facilitating dubbing and automatic dialogue replacement. It is this unique voice synchronization technology that underpins their business.
In the digital book market, their innovation is in providing e-books that are more than an electronic representation of text and images. They are experiential, offering an interactive, immersive and instructive experience to clients including education institutions and big brand story publishers as well as those wanting to revitalize indigenous languages.
Seeing the potential of their offering, we worked with them to re-examine their thinking. This included encouraging them to take a step back, look at their business model and rearticulate what overall value they could provide. This led to a project with a much broader scope – involving both relaunching their post-production licensing business and taking their publishing business to the next level. It is thinking that has now enabled them to strike a lucrative licencing deal with a Chinese television company.
When I asked Steven Renata, their global director of business development, what help had been most valuable along the way, he said it was having access to astute, commercially-minded people with world-class experience to enhance his team’s capability. “Not only that but strategic support on our R&D and wider business strategy helped us take a ‘bigger picture’ approach to R&D strategy, identifying an R&D roadmap that is now transforming our business.”
In addition to providing funding to help Kiwa Digital commit to a major R&D project that would ensure it could compete on the global stage, Callaghan Innovation also helped provide a fresh perspective on the business, Renata says.
“Advice on the importance of moving quickly to take advantage of the opportunities available to us has also been critical,” he says.
As you can see, there are many different paths you could take to get an idea from concept to commercial reality – but there’s no need to go it alone. Get in touch and our experienced advisors – with their strong business and technology backgrounds – can help you navigate each step of the technology and product development landscape.