Stream B – Bringing your invention to the market (Dr Omar Zahr and Mr Michael A. Oblon)

Summary: An invention is not an idea for a business, but it can act as the seed from which an idea might sprout. In this workshop, you will learn how to tie your invention to market applications by articulating the value of the technological problem that your invention solves.

You will then use this information as the foundation for a business narrative that details the journey from your invention to a viable business. This workshop will teach the frameworks utilised at the TandemLaunch Foundry to ideate new businesses based on university research.

You will learn how to present their ideas in a form attractive to investors, identify development risks and strategies to mitigate them, as well as develop roadmaps for R&D, talent acquisition and market entry that will set the stage for their journey as technical entrepreneurs.

Presenter:  Dr Omar Zahr, Chief Technology Officer, TandemLaunch (Online)

Biography: Dr Omar Zahr is the CTO of TandemLaunch, a venture capital fund and startup foundry based in Montreal. He oversees the creation of new ventures by managing the TandemLaunch technology scouting engine, guiding new entrepreneurs on the venture assembly process and working closely with universities and researchers to structure the IP agreements that will govern ventures from investment to exit.

He entered the world of deep-tech startups shortly after graduating with a PhD in Materials Chemistry from McGill university. Since joining TandemLaunch in 2015 he’s supported the creation of over 20 companies with top-tier researchers across the world.

Presenter:  Mr. Armando Vera Carvajal, Vice President, New Chip (Online)

Biography: Armando Vera Carvajal is a Vice President at Newchip, the largest global online accelerator focused on helping startups across industries and geographies raise capital from professional investors. As one of the original product founders and pioneers, Armando is passionate about building innovative, tech-enabled products with high potential for global reach and impact. Prior to Newchip, he was a Research Manager at the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) where he covered hedge fund clients in New York City involved in long/short, distressed credit, special situations, activist, and global macro investment strategies. Armando studied international relations and corporate communications at the University of Texas at Austin, along with global exchanges at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and at l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Born in Mexico City, Armando immigrated to the United States of America when he was four years old and grew up in McAllen, Texas. His interests include technology, venture capital, social impact, mountaineering, writing, painting, film, world travel, photography, and inspiring people to become agents of positive global change.

Summary: It is often said that intellectual property is at least 80% of a technology company’s value.  Michael will discuss how companies (of all sizes) can be savvy about their IP, including what steps to take to protect trade secrets, when/why to pursue patent protection, and how to interact with third-parties (such as joint venturers, suppliers, customers, and even competitors) to manage IP risks.

Presenter:  Michael A. Oblon, Partner, Jones Day (Online)

Biography: Michael Oblon is an intellectual property lawyer and a partner at Jones Day, in Washington, DC.  Michael focuses on patent and trade secret litigation and counseling for clients (from startups to Fortune 100 corporations) that develop software, electronics, electromechanical and communications-related products. He also develops company-specific trade secret policies and manages patent portfolios (including strategic patent prosecution) for several leading companies in these fields.  Michael negotiates tech transfer, licensing, and joint development/collaboration agreements, and performs diligence reviews in connection with investment or M&A.  He provides seminars about intellectual property at various corporations and has taught courses and provided guest lectures for engineering and business school students at the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania, and he has been quoted in articles in leading IP legal publications. Michael has a BSEE from the University of Virginia and his JD from Harvard Law School.