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Glossary of Terms

Commercialization is the process or cycle of introducing a new product into the market. The commercialization process involves formation of a businesses that can be sustained long-term. It is a stage-wise process and each stage has its own key goals and milestones. It is vital to involve key stakeholders early, including customers.

The Five Stages of Commercialization:

Concept: a commercial opportunity is the first of five phases of commercial development. The primary objective is to generate the proof required to attract the resources necessary to move to the next phase.

Incubating: opportunity is the second of five phases of commercial development . This phase is characterized by activities such as defining and validating technical and product performance specifications and further validation of the market and related commercial concept/business plan.

Demonstrating/Prototyping: is the third of five phases of commercial development in which the company/inventor is "demonstrating" products and processes in the commercial context. In demonstration, a company has initial customers testing and utilizing the product or process, typically on a limited scale.

Market Entry: customer base is the fourth of five phases of commercial development. If evidence indicates that the product/technology can fuel a wide variety of new products and opportunities, investors may provide the necessary resources to move forward.

Growth/Sustainability: the fifth and final phase of commercial development in which the company is growing or scaling in the market. The company is generating sales and financial returns. This is typically the stage where the most job growth occurs in a company.


This commercialization process focuses on four dimensions of technology commercialization: Technology, Market Formation, Business/Operations, Funding (listed below). These are the key business development areas of focus throughout the business commercialization cycle.


The Four Dimensions of Technology Commercialization:

Technology refers to all aspects relating to the science and technology behind the business/innovation.

Market Formation refers to all aspects related to the market identification, validation and distribution.

Business/Operations pertains to formation and launch of the business structure, personnel, business processes and operations surrounding the business/innovation.

Funding refers to how the company/entrepreneur obtains the necessary capital to fund the research, business development, scaling and all other aspects of the business venture.


SWOT analysis: a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses/Limitations, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective.

Setting the objective should be done after the SWOT analysis has been performed. This would allow achievable goals or objectives to be set for the organization.

Intellectual property: a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law.[1] Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property rights include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.

Seed money: sometimes known as seed funding, friends and family funding or angel funding (and some times also as venture capital), is a securities offering whereby one or more parties that have some connection to a new enterprise invest the funds necessary to start the business so that it has enough funds to sustain itself for a period of development until it reaches either a state where it is able to continue funding itself, or has created something in value so that it is worthy of future rounds of funding. Seed money refers to the money invested.

Mezzanine capital: in finance, refers to a subordinated debt or preferred equity instrument that represents a claim on a company's assets which is senior only to that of the common shares. Mezzanine financings can be structured either as debt (typically an unsecured and subordinated note) or preferred stock.

Bridge financing: a method of financing used to maintain liquidity while waiting for an anticipated and reasonably expected inflow of cash. Bridge financing is commonly used when the cash flow from a sale of an asset is expected after the cash outlay for the purchase of an asset.

Product Champion: a leadership person who takes extraordinary interest in the adoption, implementation, and success of a cause, policy, program, project, or product. The role of a product champion is to bring organisational resources to bear on both the definition and ongoing development of the product. During product definition these resources are likely to be decision making or decision assisting resources and quality control resources. Also called change advocate, change agent, or idea champion.

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