Wednesday February 13, 2013 0 commentsBy StevePorter
LOVELAND - With the first year under his belt, David Lung is moving forward with "phase two" of the Loveland Tech Transfer Initiative, a program that aims to help Loveland-area tech companies gain access to federal agencies and research labs that can assist them in moving their products into the marketplace.
Lung said the second year of the program will go deeper by helping fewer companies with more one-on-one assistance.
"I think everybody's real excited about the groundwork we did in phase one," he said. "We learned some really interesting things in year one, but phase two will be more looking at the community and its clusters as a whole and new ways we can grow those clusters and those businesses."
More than 20 local tech-related businesses were assisted in phase one through the program established in March 2012 by the Loveland City Council.
Lung, founder of Longmont-based DA2 Consulting, is a former Air Force officer who spent more than 25 years in aerospace, defense and energy industries and has made connections with NASA, the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security and other government research and development agencies.
Lung said phase one revealed the Loveland-Fort Collins area has the potential to form both a robotics cluster and a sensor and automation controls cluster to help advance those industries.
"We have something pretty interesting here, and the question is how do we nurture it and grow it," he said.
Regarding a robotics cluster, Lung said there are numerous companies in the region that could be part of a cluster.
"That was a real exciting takeaway for all of us, and we're definitely looking at developing that," he said.
Lung said the TTI's first year provided a close look at the technology landscape in the Loveland area, and the 20-plus companies that took part each received some valuable one-on-one consultation.
Connecting the dots
Jay Dokter, an investor and CEO of YouSeeU.com, an online education site, said he was very pleased with the assistance his company received last year.
"I think this was one of the city leaders' more creative initiatives," Dokter said, praising "the energy, the camaraderie and the networking with David Lung and his group."
Dokter said he's hoping Lung's connections will help move his business forward.
"They are marketing us into NASA and the Department of Defense, and we're working toward serving those organizations," he said. "David's the guy who's connecting all the dots."
Lung is being assisted by the city's business development department. Marcie Erion, Loveland's business development specialist, said the TTI's second year will include a "Bootcamp Series" of special programs that will be "more of a deep dive into a specific area."
Erion said participating companies will get more time with Lung and more information opportunities in the second year.
Erion said the Bootcamp programs will likely begin later this month.
Erion said the list of companies that will be involved in the second phase has not yet been determined.
"We haven't reached out yet," she said. "We have a list of folks who we weren't able to reach out to in 2012 that we think are good options. But it's very important to vet companies before we bring them in."
But she noted that all interested companies are invited to take part in the Bootcamp programs and will be able to access a TTI Facebook page that will keep them informed of events and offerings.
Lung said he expects the TTI's second year will be more focused on fewer companies and hopefully more productive for all.
"I think the first year was educating a lot of companies about how tech transfer works and what are the gaps out there," he said.
"If we can do two or three (deals) a year, that would be significant," Lung said. "This year we want to drill down to some specific opportunities and move beyond the conversation and create some real tech transfer deals."