High-growth technology business forum

1 March 2021

On 25 February, the EPO together with Licensing Executive Society International (LESI) held the first edition of a new online forum designed especially for high-growth technology businesses and small and medium-sized technology enterprises, the major drivers of Europe's economic growth.

This event was organised in line with the high-growth technology business initiatives developed by the EPO and LESI to help encourage business decision-makers in the high-tech field to engage with IP and to offer IP professionals the opportunity to study how business-relevant IP management can be implemented to create value with IP. The fact that the forum sold out long before the registration deadline is evidence of the high level of interest that the topic generates.

More than 400 people from 58 countries registered for the online event, including C-suites (CEOs, CTOs, founders), business decision-makers, IP professionals and other stakeholders. During the event, the participants deepened their knowledge about the IP strategies of successful SMEs. The forum was divided into three different expert panels. The Licensing panel explored case studies of a company (SME) whose business was impacted by licensing. The Build-to-sell panel's case study explored the progression from building a company from scratch to successfully selling it. The Growth-financing panel highlighted the key role played by IP portfolios and strategy in attracting investments and increasing company value, again based on an SME case study.

Each of the three panels was led by a prominent member of the C-suite, who shared insights into their success, provided practical tips and described actual scenarios. There was a very dynamic discussion amongst panel experts followed by a Q&A session with all participants. Each expert panel consisted of business representatives from Europe, Asia and North America - CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, investors, patent professionals and IP lawyers - with a wealth of highly valuable practical experience and knowledge of how to create value with intellectual assets.

Dana Colarulli, the Executive Director of Licensing Executives Society International acted as moderator, guiding participants through the programme.

The Licensing panel was led by Sonja London (Nokia) and explored the live case study of the Finnish company Dispelix, a designer and fabless manufacturer of the world's first truly mass manufacturable diffractive waveguide displays.

Juergen Graner (Globalator) led the Build-to-sell panel and explored the live case study of the Austrian company Bender MedSystems, a research reagents company sold to a US firm in 2009.

The Growth-financing panel led by Willem Bulthuis (Corporate Ventures Advisory) explored the live case study of the Germany company DyeMansion, a 3D printing company turning raw parts into high-value products.

The forum organisers have created a condensed list of take-away messages from the panel experts participating in the forum. This is now available on the event website.

The High-growth technology business forum takes place three times a year, and its geographic focus rotates between Europe, Asia and North America. This first edition focused on Europe and was part of the EPO-LESI joint work plan to strengthen co-operation.

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