[1]

What we do

If we are blunt about it, some ideas are good and some ideas are not so good. The refinement processes put in place within the STEaM Engine are designed to help everyone determine the difference. Rather than this being an always re-inventing the wheel process, PIPE intends to do this on an industrial scale. The purpose of the STEaM Engine environment is to help in the process of sifting out the winners from the also rans. The Due Diligence and Development process combines the measurement of current achievement with the future development needed to improve. As the project progresses, it undergoes repeated rounds of qualifying, exercising, validating, and refining.

The objective is to prove that what comes out of the process is fit for use, empowered and energised.

The STEaM Engine has a series of time-limited, deliverables based, processes of due diligence and development to ensure that only high quality deal flow and projects come to market. Each phase has defined criteria that must be met before the project can proceed. A project that has fulfilled the processes should be fully qualified to seek financing and launch. The process is not designed to help a poor proposal scrape through, but to refine the stream of proposals down to those that are most likely to succeed, and then help them to. Failing fast helps to prevent misallocation of resources that would have been of more benefit allocated to a more robust project.
 
1: Validation Phase
Where a university or institution does not have a formal TTO in place or requires internal support, the PIPE team assists with the identification, prioritisation and framing of academic IP assets that are suitable for commercialisation. This involves taking the project through the Preparation phase. The outcome of this pathway of activities is analogous to the position a TTO might get to before engaging 3rd party evaluation. The project flow from this phase should be those which withstand basic review and qualify according to the universities own criteria for consideration. Note there exists a possible margin between what a particular university may consider suitable and what the upper/lower/average criteria may be across universities as a whole.

      ⇐
Working out if it looks like a good idea
2: Evaluation Phase
As an important part of the Evaluation phase, an Associate of relevant background is brought into the project and the IP asset is critically assessed to determine objectives, strategy and project potential through competitive market analysis. Projects are sorted between licensing or full commercialisation opportunities if the Client wishes to develop, market and launch a product directly. The Evaluation Phase has several milestones within it as first Preliminary, then one or more Detailed evaluations are carried out. The outcome of this phase is a solution/proposition that all concerned are confident to back and start to invest real effort into. This is the phase where a number of drop outs can be expected.

      ⇐
Working out if it can be done
3: Launch Phase
During this phase the corporate infrastructure is formed via team development, business planning and the ongoing delivery of the project deliverables. If the project matures acceptably, and has a positive Solution Readiness for Market (SRM) assessment the Client may choose to bring the product to market and seek financing after further Proposition Ready for Investment (PRI) assessment by the Associate.

      ⇐ 
Working out if the team can do it
 
Getting the investment
to make it work
 ⇒    
  4: Funding Phase
Having passed all of the due diligence (DD) and deliverables evaluations, having matured with a positive SRM Assessment and a team that can deliver the outcome, the process of passing the final exam arrives. The Investment Committee (IC) needs to be convinced that everything is in order and the solution is really 'good to go'. The process of preparing the argument to go before the Investment Committee utilises all of the measurements and evaluations from the preceding stages and the IC can determine just what residual risk remains. The PIPE system is designed to make this process as standard as possible. Most of the work will already have been done by the project in getting to this point, so with some final preparation, this should be just the next step along the way.

Getting on with the work
 ⇒    
  5: Exchange/Implementation Phase
The Project has survived the refinement process so far, and is now accepted to become a Protégé Company (PC) with funding from THE FUND and has entered the PIPE Exchange. Ongoing support of the PC as it gains traction as a spin-up company now helps to ease the transition into full implementation. In the knowledge that the PC is fit-for-purpose it is now a lot less risky to commit resources to aid in the set up and development of the PC. The schedule of investments is in place and the new company is able to concentrate on growing the business rather than chasing finance. Investors are now free to exchange and trade holdings in the PC within the PIPE Exchange without distracting the Protégé Company. Prior to the establishment of THE FUND, clients access private placement funding via the PIPE network of seed, angel and other third- party investment partners. The STEaM Engine provides detailed assessment to support the corporate offering and may collaborate with the client to raise investment.