Since 2012 Flamingo Sky has honed it’s approach to identifying and commercialising university R&D and Innovation and has broken the process down into four (4) distinct phases. This allows the university to engage the Flamingo Sky methodology either in part and phase by phase or as a wholly outsourced and turn key solution.
The phases are as follows:
Phase 1 – ‘Getting to know you’: Firstly it is important to appraise the university R&D/Innovation pipeline in terms of what opportunities exist, what position they are in with IP/patenting and potential for exploitation commercially. But it is also important to communicate with the student body and academics and to inform them that there is a process for raising up innovative ideas for commercial review. Flamingo Sky in partnership with the university, raise awareness internally, identify opportunities, prioritise them based on their viability and create a framework for moving R&D and innovative propositions through to commercial viability. The outcome from this phase is a clear ‘pipeline’ of weighted opportunities against which we (Flamingo and the university) can forecast tasks and actions for future commercialisation.
This initial Phase 1 is optional and is designed to provide a ‘drains up’ view of the commercial opportunities across the university and can be repeated at regular intervals to ensure absolute visibility.
Phase 2 – ‘Hatching’: In this phase, those opportunities that are sufficiently developed, although possibly no more than a proof of concept, can be ‘accelerated’ through our commercial process. During this phase we carry out market research, corporate partnering via our associates and identification of the key building blocks and requirements that the proposition needs to become a commercial reality. As part of this phase we will determine where the market opportunities lie, what the route to market may well be, what the overall opportunity is and will begin to build commercial partnerships with our EU corporate partners or seek and engage new corporate partners as required. The outcome of this phase will be a clear set of tasks that will lead to the full commercialisation of the particular proposition and our recommendation as to how that commercialisation will develop.
On the completion of Phase 2 a decision on whether to move into Phase 3 or to make changes, hold or stop entirely can be agreed.
Phase 3 – ‘Fledgling’: Once we have agreed to move from Phase 2, Flamingo Sky begins the process of building the commercial plan for investment. This includes recruiting commercial partners and our associates, the creation of a full business plan to cover the 3-5 year period, the creation of a company structure and name, legals, shareholdings etc. We also look to build the future management team via our associates, corporate partners and non-executive directors and advisers. The purpose of this exercise is to put forward the strongest commercial argument for investment backed by the strongest team in which investors can have faith. The outcome is a fully formed business and business plan that is ready to accept investment and deliver to that plan.
Phase 4 – ‘Learning to fly’: This phase is focused purely on investment and negotiating commercial terms, whether that is via EU based private investors, venture capital trusts, family offices, corporate partners and joint ventures or via Flamingo Fledgling Funds. This phase is potentially the longest of the four phases and can take 6-9 months to complete, although if Flamingo Fledgling Funds are available, then the investment should close much more quickly, subject to the Investment Committee approval.
The entire process from Phase 1-3 takes around 120 working days, with Phase 4 taking an initial 30 working days to present to investors, followed by a period of negotiation and closure.