Opportunity Paths for Entrepreneurs: Winning Competitions And Win-Win Partnerships

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Changing the world is a tough job.  There’s so much to think about and it’s difficult to do on your own.  As entrepreneurs strive to move revolutionary ideas into reality, there are the usual partners to reach out to: friends and family, Venture Capital (VC) firms, government agencies, your old university professor, incubators and entrepreneurial networks that have expertise to help.  But finding alternative pathways, un-usual solutions, and the right alliances can help save your day.

Most people are familiar with VC.  But what about CV?  No, not curriculum vitae — I’m talking about corporate venturing, sometimes known as external venturing.

Large, global corporations like CertainTeed’s parent company Saint-Gobain have external venturing teams that foster open innovation, sharing, and strategic partnerships.  They have technical and testing expertise through their R&D teams and laboratories, marketing expertise and channels to market, and large- or small-scale manufacturing capabilities.

Saint-Gobain is a global corporation, celebrating their 350th anniversary this year after innovating flat glass design and manufacturing for King Louis XIV’s Hall of Mirrors in France.  Since then, the company has become a Top 100 Global Innovator with presence in 64 countries and Mars.  Yes, Mars!  Saint-Gobain specializes in building materials and high-performance materials like those used on the Mars Curiosity Rover in space.  In addition to internal R&D and innovation, the company looks to work with others for open innovation.

Saint-Gobain’s external venturing team, NOVA, and is comprised of people in North America, Europe, and Asia searching for start-up companies and new technologies that can make a difference in the world.  NOVA also hosts the NOVA Innovation Competition .  This competition provides entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for cash prizes, free international publicity, feedback from external experts, fast-pitch competition format with a trip to the Greenbuild International Expo in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2015, and potential for a strategic partnership afterward.  Partnerships could take the form of commercialization agreements, joint development, testing, manufacturing, and other ways to help a new start-up company.

Winning isn’t everything.  Okay, yes it is.

The NOVA Innovation Competition is on!  Win a potential partnership with CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain, free international publicity, mentoring, and feedback from respected experts and thought leaders, visibility to investors, and cash prizes.

START. SCALE. SOAR.  Apply to the NOVA Innovation Competition by June 19, 2015 at www.nova-saint-gobain.com.

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