Amy Shim is the Director of Client Services at Invention Evaluator, a Seattle-based analysis service dedicated to helping companies and institutions identify high-potential technologies, offering them useful, affordable analysis reports and rapid customer service. In this interview, Amy will be telling us how Invention Evaluator works and why their clients love them.
1) Please tell us your name and about yourself?
I’m Amy Shim and I am the Director of Client Services at Tekcapital, an IP investment and services company. Invention Evaluator, which is a division of Tekcapital helps entrepreneurs, companies and universities bring forth their best ideas to life.
Prior to my current role, I worked in the traditional capital markets: operations within the Corporate Finance Group at Moody’s Investors Service in New York and institutional client service and asset management for one of the largest bond managers in the world. I received my BA degree in Economics from Smith College and my MBA from the University of Oxford.
2) What is Invention Evaluator?
Invention Evaluator was originally founded in 2010 in Sydney, Australia as a means to address a pain point in technology transfer offices. Not all invention disclosures get reviewed in a timely manner or at all. The loss of efficiency and productivity can be immeasurable. Imagine the next great idea or invention falling through the cracks? Invention Evaluator was created for just that. We provide an objective, consistent, timely, and inexpensive review process for anyone looking to commercialize a technology or idea.
Today, the team is based in Seattle, Washington. We provide a detailed report on any idea or technology which outlines its technology merits, intellectual property research, and market analysis with SWOT, competitive landscape and potential partners. We offer objective insights for anyone looking to commercialize a new idea or business that relies on a specific technology or asset. Sometimes the journey ends with one of our reports and that’s okay too. Wouldn’t you rather know as early as possible whether something is worth the time, money and trek?
What makes us unique is our expert analysts coupled with our proprietary research algorithms. Our team of 14 specialized scientific analysts and our research systems come together to provide an actionable assessment of any new innovation. Many of our analysts are postgraduates and have all been specifically trained in intellectual property and search.
3) What are the unique services you offer at Invention Evaluator and who are your major clients?
As our namesake implies, Invention Evaluator does one thing and we do it well, we do it quickly, and we do it cheaply. Our unbiased and comprehensive reports are guaranteed in 10 business days or less for under $1,000. I sometimes joke that our analysts are trained to kill, ideas that is. We want to equip the reader with challenging and objective information they can really use in order to make a decision and prepare them for the road ahead should they choose to proceed. Internal feedback is good, but it can have obvious drawbacks. Would you call your own baby ugly?
We serve over 250 research institutions, government labs and agencies, companies, accelerators and incubators worldwide. Even private inventors, investors and individuals request our reports.
4) Tell us more about the technical aspects of your analysis system, how does it work?
Our reports are produced through a proprietary software system that is human-driven. Without the individual specialized knowledge of our analysts, we would not be able to produce our client reports. The analysts start out with reviewing the submission information from our clients to grasp the core of the invention. We receive submissions that are one sentence to 400 pages! From there, the analyst will build out a semantic map which is the basis for the searches conducted: patent landscape and IP research for relevant literature through Google, Google Scholar Search, and/or Espacenet; market analysis including SWOT analysis, competitive landscape, potential partners, and other resources to help further commercialize the opportunity should the client decide to move forward.
5) Your academic background and experience speak very highly of you, could you tell us what excites you the most?
I love my job, if I can call it that, because I learn something new everyday and get to witness and be a part of advancing so many promising technologies that can improve or save lives. That is what the founders of Tekcapital and I share: the common goal to help bring innovations to lift the quality of life and create lasting value. Whether that’s through medical devices or new cancer therapeutics to improved nutritional value of foods to apps and eyewear I never know what’s around the corner tomorrow.
6) You have been providing service and support to large U.S. institutional investors and technology companies, could you share you experience and success stories with us?
Tekcapital orders Invention Evaluator reports for portfolio technologies we review and acquire. Invention Evaluator completed a report at the request of Tekcapital for Lucyd, one of its portfolio companies. Lucyd is the maker of next generation smart glasses, and their eyewear eShop is launching as we speak. Last year, Lucyd was just an idea on paper with 13 patents. Today, it has raised over $6 million through an ICO to build its prototype, the eShop is launching where you will be able to purchase prescription-ready next-gen eyewear, and its 14th patent to protect a new mobile application for its glasses has been applied for – all within less than one year.
7) From your experience in Asset Management, what is your take on blockchain technology and crypto assets?
With any new asset class, but especially a new one like blockchain and crypto, it is really important to have quality, objective information: whether that is verifying the jurisdiction and knowing what guidelines have to be followed (e.g. you may know U.S. regulations very well, but what about regulations in Singapore, Jersey or Isle of Man?) to the actual technology, management team and business plan with milestones, do your homework and make an accountable checklist.
According to TechCrunch, in one quarter alone last year, initial coin offerings (ICOs) raised more than $1.3 billion for crypto ventures — approximately five times more than funding raised through venture capital in the blockchain space. With so much activity here, scammers are bound to target this area for a quick buck.
8) How important is security and data protection to your services?
Security and maintaining confidentiality is absolutely vital for us and our clients. If our clients cannot entrust that their information is safe and secure with us, we don’t have a business. We never accept submissions or forward reports via e-mail – everything is done through our secure website and individual client dashboards.
9) Tell us more about your team of specialized scientific analysts and how to reach you.
We have a team of over a dozen specialized analysts based in Seattle that produce Invention Evaluator’s reports. Each submission gets assigned to a resident expert who conducts the searches through our proprietary software program. We have completed over 5,000 analyses in the areas of life science (including biotech and medical devices), physical science, engineering, and ICT. You can get started by registering here or reaching me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10) Do you have more information for our readers?
It’s easy to try one report at a time because we are not a monthly or yearly subscription-based service. For clients who utilize us heavily, we have bulk options and no expiration dates. I hope our team can be helpful to you in your next project!