MAD MINUTE WITH KEN SPENSER

  Ken Spenser  MCIRCC Commercialization Coach kspenser@umich.edu

Ken Spenser
MCIRCC Commercialization Coach
kspenser@umich.edu

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got involved in commercialization coaching for critical care products?
I’ve been involved in bringing new products to market for most of my adult life. My last tour in the Navy involved the development and testing of the S3B. While a Vice President at Texas Instruments I had to make decisions on where to invest and what product lines to launch and which to sunset. Then there were my Ann Arbor days and Venture Capital. I had three different start-ups and learned from all of them (Experience is a marketing term for mistakes!). At MCIRCC I hope some of that “experience” will pay off in getting REALLY impactful projects to the bedside. The MCIRCC mission is second to none.

With Massey TBI Grand Challenge proposals coming in, what advice do you have for prospective applicants from a commercialization standpoint?
I am a big proponent of using the concepts around the Business Model Canvas used by many factions at UM. The Business Model Canvas will sharpen your thinking and point out the necessary steps to commercialization. In particular, getting your value proposition and customer segments right will definitely help your initial score. Hints on this process are all over the web, and of course, we are here to answer questions.

Can you give us an update on some of the latest MCIRCC projects/companies? 
We have made great progress with several of our projects and have successfully licensed several of them to Ann Arbor start-ups. I am a proponent of engaging with start-ups. They are lean, mean and focused. We have been working with OTT to have a fresh model concerning equity, etc. so the return to MCIRCC can be significant. I am particularly excited about the potential for a new company utilizing our predictive analytics.

Spring has officially sprung, especially for you down in South Carolina! What are some of your favorite warm-weather activities?
I am really into bass fishing :)  I walk out my door to a small lake loaded with largemouth bass.  My biggest was a 7 1/2 pounder. I can easily walk to the gym. The roads here are smooooth!  So, bikes are fun! Oh, and then there's the BEACH!!!