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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Corporate partnerships are key

In today's Motley Fool I had an article published entitled: TINY Magnifies its Hunt. It is primarily about Harris & Harris -- the publicly traded venture capital firm specializing in nanotechnology -- but it highlights two of its portfolio companies -- Molecular Imprints and Kereos.

In addition to their technology, what I like about both companies is the fact that they are already partnering with major corporations. In Molecular Imprints case, it is working with Hewlett-Packard and Motorola; and Keroes is working with Dow Chemical and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

I like such relationships because too many nanotech start-ups fall prey to the belief that their technology will be enough to gain them marketplace acceptance. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Establishing a foothold in the commercial marketplace is difficult even for established companies and it can be down-right nasty for small start-ups. One of the best ways to get around this reality is to establish relationships with those major corporations who are already working in the field.

Such partnerships won't necessarily guarantee profitably or success ... but it puts those companies that do have partnerships light years ahead of those that don't have any.

Jack Uldrich