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

Key insights from seasoned alumnus, Joe Scaduto

Pre-Seed Workshop hosts and coaches are the definition of experts. Each one brings a unique set of skills and experience to help budding entrepreneurs reach their full potential. We recently caught up with Joseph Scaduto, a seasoned entrepreneur and longtime host and coach for PSW. Scaduto has been involved with PSW since its early days at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY; one of the first campuses to host a PSW annually. He currently serves as a BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence at the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook.

Scaduto offered some advice to Idea Champions for making the most of their PSW experience.

First, Scaduto encourages inventors and scientists to understand the market opportunities for their potential offerings before attending the workshop. “What is the problem in the marketplace that your technology is going to solve?,” he asks. Scaduto says it’s important to hone in on the unmet need you’re trying to fulfill, because investors will need to be reassured of its value. How do you go about making sure you’re meeting a need? “Engage customers early and often,” Scaduto says. “Make sure there’s alignment between your envisioned product and market demand.” The PSW format pushes Idea Champions in this critical direction, but they are not always comfortable going there!

Second,  “Really leverage your team. Don’t become a bottleneck by trying to control every aspect of the process.” He mentions that some of the most successful PSW outcomes have been a result of input from team members—MBA students, coaches, accountants, attorneys, and industry experts alike. “Let your team contribute in a real way,” he says. Scaduto also says that Idea Champions who are open to input are often the most successful. “When an Idea Champion is coachable, they extract the most value from the process.”  In an interesting way, the PSW is a behavioral assessment as to how coachable an Idea Champion is in “real life.”

Finally, Scaduto encourages future PSW attendees to manage their time and expectations. “Make sure to stay focused on the task at hand, and be realistic about what you’re going to extract.” As a former PSW coach, Scaduto reminds potential attendees that the workshop is meant to set entrepreneurs up for success, not hand it to them. “You won’t walk out with a full business plan or a check from an investor. Instead, you’re learning how to think like an investor, and identifying what they’re going to want to know.”

Want to learn more about Pre-Seed Workshop alumni, their experiences, and progress? Check out our Alumni Stories by clicking here.