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09/30/2006 - Sirti Adopts Innovation Continuum

Sirti has a new coaching tool to help accelerate innovative companies, which they call the “innovation continuum model (ICM).” The ICM takes a client from investigation and assessment of an idea, product, or technology through feasibility, development, introduction and growth to maturity, and is the equivalent of an entire business course in a simple to understand model. The ICM is “really just common sense”, according to John Overby, Client Services Director, “it helps clients figure out where they are in the whole business process.” The ICM takes the business up toward success, step-by-step and stage-by-stage. Although Sirti specializes in technology companies, the ICM would work for any business.

The ICM has three tracks with a series of milestones within each track – for a total of eighteen separate steps. The tracks are idea or product development, market assessment, and financial planning. Sirti collaborates with the client – coaching them through each step – always going at the clients pace.

The intellectual property phase is for the development of the idea into a saleable product. Sirti does an assessment -- that may include a ‘fast patent search’ – to help determine the approximate cost of product development and taking it to market. If the assessment is positive, Sirti coaches the client through the construction of a working model, then an engineering prototype, and on into limited production. When the “bugs” have been worked out, the product can go into full production with production support.

Simultaneously, there is a market assessment. Within this is a marketing study which includes: What is the market? What are the market segments? How big is the market? And, what is the market value? If the market proves too small to support a company, Sirti will help with the licensing of the technology to a larger company. After the market study, Sirti will coach through the construction of the strategic marketing plan, followed by the initial sales. As sales of the initial technology grow, the client should move on to more new products.

Lagging only a bit behind the intellectual property phase and market assessment is the financial aspect. The financial plan includes the cost to develop the product and the market, followed by a detailed financial plan for purposes of getting funding. The feasibility study always uses the start-up’s own funds, and must provide a true picture of costs and revenues. When the client is ready to seek capital, the company must have an accurate financial model, a strategic business plan, and a solid company foundation with a capable management team. In order to get investors, all three of the tracks must be carried out in tandem. One can’t get ahead of the other.

The ICM is a tried and true model according to Overby. Using this model, Sirti helps accelerate the client company by means of coaching, client services, and access to capital. Sirti has people with real world experience on its coaching team – people who have experience in starting a business, running a successful company, and who know how to work as a management team. Where needed, Sirti can recommend other service providers from a pool outside of Sirti, and will coach the client on how best to use their service providers.

“Sirti helps, but the entrepreneur’s passion is the key,” says Linda Hemmingway, Director of market development and communications, “we teach the process, caution realism, and they go through it at their own rate.”

For more information about Sirti, accelerating innovative companies, visit

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