Marc Jin Recounts His Experience As Business Co-founder
At E Club’s recent meetup held on March 27, 2015 at Reservoir Place in Waltham, member Marc Jin shared his experience as a business co-founder of Innopad, a manufacturer of polishing pads which are used in the process of making computer chips. The other co-founder was the inventor of the product.
Innopad belonged to an industry that has a market size of $700 million, and dominated by a single company with about 80% market share. Marc was involved in its entire life, from startup, to exit, to closing. Over a period of seven years, Innopad raised over $30 million in investment capital. The startup spent six months in incubator, building a minimal viable product that would satisfy a small number of potential customers whom they have identified in the beginning as the companies with the most incentives to want a product like this. Having your product validated by customers is critical. Early on, Marc’s team started building strategic relationships not only with potential customers, but also with distribution channels. They wrote white papers and presented at conferences with their customers to become known in the field. Marc also built relationships with companies that may eventually acquire Innopad. Timing is critical for exit, therefore, it is beneficial to start building these connections early. Innopad was acquired in 2013.
Members raised various questions including under which situations would it be worthwhile to apply for patents, when to get funding from investors (as late as possible but don’t miss the market opportunity), and how to get customers.
Lastly, Marc recommended a book “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37signals.
NECINA Entrepreneur Club (E Club) is a community of technology entrepreneurs that meets regularly to share ideas and experience, brainstorm on business challenges, and learn from successful entrepreneurs. Welcome to join the Club if you are or have been a founder or CXO of a technology company. Please send e-mail to Eclub@necina.org with your contact info and business website address.