Pre-Seed Workshop - New York
Pre-Seed Workshop - New York
Pre-Seed Workshop - New York
"The Pre-Seed Workshop is the best approach I have seen to the challenging issue of determining if academic researchers have an idea that can become a commercially successful venture."

Sean Boykevisch
Senior Licensing Associate
Stony Brook University, Long Island

“My Road to Market is Shorter and Leaner”

Going into the Pre-Seed Workshop, Charles Jones wanted to be the next Pfizer, delivering life-saving pneumococcal vaccines to millions of unvaccinated individuals in underdeveloped communities. A week later, after going through the PSW exercises and working with his team to obtain “friendly interviews,” Jones had a brand new business model that revolved around selling his vaccine delivery system (pictured below) to vaccine developers beyond only Pfizer.


“PSW helped me realize what I could and could not do,” said Jones. “When I interact with people at other conferences, their feedback might not be critical, but PSW gave me unbiased and critical feedback.”During an interview with a subject matter expert, Jones came to realize that he would not have a lot of market traction compared to the established, reputable companies in the market. But this was not the end of the road for Jones. In fact, the road became much shorter and less expensive because his technology fit into a niche of the medical market that would require testing that is less intensive than clinical trials.


“It’s something I’ve never thought about,” said Jones. “Everyone in laboratories always says, ‘We’re going to cure cancer,’ but most inventions don’t make it there. PSW helped me see the technology I see all the time in a different light, and I now have a more actionable plan.”

Jones now has a 3-6 month plan for his business, of which he is currently Chief Executive Officer. Part of his plan included a presentation to Terry McGuire, founding partner of Polaris Partners, a week after attending PSW. “It’s a large fund, and they can invest millions of dollars per person,” explained Jones.


Looking back on the experience, Jones feels PSW was the “best mentoring ever received.” When applying to PSW to be an idea champion, Jones thought he might be beyond the pre-seed stage. “I went in looking mostly for advice,” recalled Jones. “Afterwards, it was more than everything I would want. My team was willing to challenge everything I said and gave good advice. I really enjoyed it.

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