Jeff is a Principal Advisor for Larta’s Commercialization Assistance Programs. He has over 30 years of experience in commercialization and marketization of innovations in a wide range of industry sectors, including life sciences, clean technology, agriculture, food, materials and chemicals. Jeff’s expertise includes market research, customer validation, competitive landscape assessment, patent strategy approaches for small and pre-revenue businesses, IP monetization through licensing, open innovation, and strategy and pitch preparation for start-ups that are raising money.
Jeff is the owner and principal consultant of Bird Dog Innovation Strategies, where he provides due diligence and IP monetization services to entrepreneurs, small high-tech companies, university tech transfer offices, and angel investors. The due diligence services focus on validating or correcting crucial business model assumptions. Bird Dog uses a combination of published information and expert interviews to provide unbiased and timely determination of unmet needs (or lack thereof), customer identification and validation, market research and market size quantification, identification of direct and indirect competitors, and patent landscape analysis.
Jeff is well acquainted with the lean start-up model, and of how to optimize that model for a wide range of start-up and product development efforts. He also provides mentoring and investor matching as the Chair of the Investor & Partner Program of the Cleantech Open Midwest. Before Bird Dog, Jeff provided similar services with Development Capital Networks, worked as a technology scout for a medical device company, was a technology transfer professional for the University of Minnesota, and spent several years with a clean tech start-up. Jeff also has experience with “low-tech” commercialization, as co-founder of a travel products company that makes pickpocket-proof satchels and journals; additionally, he publishes a blog related to hidden gems of historical and cultural interest.
Jeff holds a B.S. and an M.S. degree in Rangeland Ecology from the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota. He is also a Certified Licensing Professional.