Ever wonder how engineers, right out of college or high school, in some cases go on to build huge companies like Apple, Microsoft and Facebook? The answer is – Tech Venture Capital.
Starting a new company needs a strong business plan, good management and initial capital. Starting a technology company is no different. But along with a strong business plan, a tech company needs management that understands both the business and technology aspects. Meeting the technology needs of a fast-paced market while facing competition from other companies that have made technology a leading driving force in global economy is not an easy task. This gave birth to a new career – A Tech Venture Capitalist.
A Tech Venture Capitalist (TVC), as the name suggests, is an investor or group of investors that privately fund a new technology venture. In exchange for their investment, they usually get a say in the company’s policies and decisions, the company shares (preferred stock) and even some control over the company’s operations. A TVC essentially identifies suitable companies for investment, develops a strategic plan, provides networking and manages competition.
Any investment would expect a positive return. This makes the most important role of a TVC to estimate the technological trends in the future. With a densely populated technology sector, a product can be irrelevant to the market within days of its release. A TVC projects the future of a product by taking into consideration many factors such as the life of the electrical components used, components of the competitor’s products, the time taken to build a product, market share estimation and needs of the market.
This needs a TVC to be knowledgeable in both the business and technology fields. Traditionally electrical, computer and software engineers with an MBA in management would be a match for a TVC’s role. But, recent recessions have proven that innovation and entrepreneurship along with a strong background in quality engineering and technology commercialization can bail out a company from dark periods.
Florida Tech now offers a M.S. in innovation and entrepreneurship. This degree program is perfect for engineers who have a strong interest in starting a company or working for a startup. The curriculum includes courses in technology commercialization, project engineering and quality engineering that are required to sustain the market competition. This degree also allows us to commercialize our Northrup Grumman Engineering & Science Student Design Showcase and would produce individuals perfect for a job in the Tech Venture Capital firms.
So, the next time you have an innovative idea that can change the world, you know what to do!