The phrase “Idea to Product” refers to applying creative thought to a technology (“Idea”) and developing a market application (“Product”) for that technology; thus creating a match between a technology and a societal (or market) need. The Idea to Product® Competitions are early-stage technology commercialization plan competitions that aim for unique product ideas with clear market demand that use innovative technologies.
The I2P® Program provides valuable resources to participants crucial to successful entrepreneurship, including:
- Networks of world-class entrepreneurs, investors, and potential partners.
- Mentorship by faculty, alumni, and community technology and business leaders.
- Education in specific business planning skills and general entrepreneurial insight.
- Content-rich feedback on their technology from judging panels that include entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, engineers, and service providers such as intellectual property attorneys.
- Opportunities to create a winning team of founders .
- Media exposure and publicity.
I2P® vs. Business Plan Competitions
I2P® is not a business plan competition. The products and services presented in I2P® are not ready for market introduction and are at too early a stage to detail all of the information necessary for a business plan. Whereas business plan competitions are judged based on having a fully developed business model and extensive market knowledge, Idea to Product® places more value on the technology product itself. The figure below demonstrates this difference based on the stages of the commercialization process. The focus of I2P® is early-stage technology commercialization (Imagine, Incubate, and some Demonstration), while business plan competitions focus more heavily on how to Promote and Sustain the product or business.