A co-working space in a library might look something like this:
The co-working program can offer the following:
- shared-office space:
- desk, chair, power
- wireless broadband
- library card and books, lots of books
- conference rooms
- comfortable easy chairs for reading and napping
- a place to connect with other motivated:
- small business owners
- social-impact organizations
- help with:
- business support
- looking for mentors
- simply a collaborative space to brainstorm, design, create
I wanted to run something by you, which may or may not be something you want to do or you may not have the time. But I thought of you immediately and think that you are well suited to this task.
I have a very good long-term friend who recently asked for my help to identify someone who could facilitate a negotiation between my friend and another owner with the goal of merging their two respective businesses. They have in effect reached a “gentleman’s agreement” to merge the businesses after having teamed together on some research proposals for the last two years and been very successful doing so. They’ve been talking about this for the last two years. Now they just need a neutral facilitator who can help them close in on the best plan and legal framework for merging the two businesses into one, and that’s where you would come in.
I can give you a few specifics:
- These two businesses are both involved in highway pavement engineering and research.
- One is located in Portland Oregon; and the other is located in Tampa Florida.
- The two companies are of the same approximate size, each generating $800K – $1M per year in revenues and they are both profitable.
- The two owners feel that the companies complement each other perfectly.
- Both the owners and staffs are compatible and have already worked together.
- The two owners are certainly prepared to pay the going rate for professional services of this kind.
- I don’t think they are looking for any further capitalization, but I do know that they want to grow the merged business.
These two Owner/CEOs are looking for a trusted third-party to help them talk through the process and reach a consensus on the best way to merge their two companies from several perspectives: legal, operational, strategic, and financial/tax.
If you are willing to consider this, I would like to suggest your name because I believe you have the integrity, personality, insight, and overall business background to help them pull these pieces together and agree on a plan of action so that they can go to their respective attorneys and say, “Here’s what we want to do, draft an agreement that we can sign so we can get started.”
So, what do you think? I’ll give you a call and see if this is something you’d like to take on.
Imagine H2O is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to solve water problems.
Sitting there in the meeting this morning and my mind wandering a bit (been doing that since first grade), I thought: “When/if the research grant goes away, what happens?”
Does the Research Center just go poof, everybody blowing away in the breeze to a new position, some repotted at the University in various departments; some going out to private industry; some retiring?
Then I thought about everything that is inside these walls. If you draw a box around this place and call it “Proprietary Intellectual Property (PIP),” it’s market value as a going concern is substantial when you include:
- Documents in general
- Calculators, algorithms, rules-of-thumb
- Archive of reports
- Processes and procedures
- Everything that’s on the web site: content, pictures, videos
- Curriculum, courseware, workshop and presentation materials
- Marketing and general collateral materials
- Database(s) and data
- Product info, specs, costs
- The Center’s collective rolodex of professional, industry, governmental contacts
- The Center’s brand identity and goodwill
- The Center team and their collective expertise and experience
- Continuing access to the best students
In a shutdown scenario, who “owns” the PIP? The University? The Funding Sponsor? Would either even be interested?
The big idea I’m left with is you could develop a business plan for the inevitable and at that time, license out the entire PIP by mutual agreement with the University and/or the Sponsor, and reboot the Center as a commercial enterprise. If you chose to do it big, you could attract some equity capital to fund startup costs for space, equipment, and competitive industry salaries, benefits, etc.
And that begins a whole new story.
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