Ag Showcase Preview
The third annual Ag Innovation Showcase starts tonight with a reception at the Danforth Plant Science Center. We are hosting a members only dinner at 7, also at the Danforth, where we will talk about some new resources available to GAIN members.
Tomorrow, I will be moderating a panel called "Strategic Partnerships: From Investment to Acquisition." Panel members include:
- Spencer Maughan, vice president, Venrock (GAIN member)
- Derek Rapp, CEO, Divergence, acquired by Monsanto (GAIN member)
- Dan Tomso, manager bioscience technology and licensing, Bayer CropScience LP
- Sharon Berberich, business development/licensing leader, technology licensing and commercialization, Dow AgroSciences (GAIN member)
We have a good mix on investors, innovators and corporate viewpoints.
One of my questions to the panel will be along these lines: "Sometimes potential strategic partners interests will be fully aligned, economic, business development and personal interests, these deals are relatively easy to put together. At other times, parties engage in discussions thinking there are strategic intererests in common only to find that there are no common goals, these fail to come together, again, fairly straightforward. However, in times when interests only partially overlap and each party has other, un-common interests, there can be great motivation to enter into a relationship, but great difficulty in reaching a deal, taking much time, expense and frustration. What then are some suggestions you might have to navigate through these negotiations and come to a truly mutually beneficial benefit, in a minimum of time and expense?" I'll report their responses here this week.
Another question might be related to deals in a recesion or down economy. Who has the upper hand? The innovator with great technology, or the corporate partner with cash and other resources? Or are both on an even playing field? Please comment and follownwith an example of a transaction you were involved with and how the deal did or did not get done in light of an issue related to the economy.
If you are attending Ag Showcase, please stop by our table and introduce yourself.