Episode 17 – From Start-up to Scale-up: Reflections on Australia’s Innovation System with Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO

Jan 26, 2023

About this episode

In this episode, Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO joins us to explore the challenges of moving from start-up to scale-up. From addressing foundational tech transfer challenges such as articulating product benefits and identifying market needs, we discuss tech transfer as being the first step on a journey of technology commercialisation and business establishment. Scaling up emerged from the recent National Innovation Policy Forum as a challenge to the Australian innovation ecosystem and we explore the contrasting nature of ICT and bio-physical technology scale up challenges. Katherine reflects on observations from Fishburners and Cicada Innovation, their respective supporting ecosystems and the pathway to the first Minimum Viable Product and ongoing product and market development.

We also explore the strategy of shelving IP, and whether it’s a deliberate or emergent strategy and the factors that influence shelving, such as people, timing, market analysis and resources and touching on the ability to say ‘no’ – the ‘sunk cost’ fallacy as a countervailing force to saying ‘no’ and the ability to strategically assess patenting options. We reflect on the nuances Australian system of the need to publish in contrast to the need for secrecy around know-how to create value and the domestic settings around academic career development and the ability or inability to migrate between the university and CSIRO research communities and industry.

An episode for those working at the intersection of start-up and scale-up challenges.

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