Entrepreneurship Workshop for Scientists and Engineers

December 2-6, 2013, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico


"Council Room" of the Central Library (Salón de Consejo de la Biblioteca Central).

Important Note: The venue "De los Constituyentes" Auditorium is canceled.


This one-week intensive Workshop is designed for physicists and engineers from countries of the Mesoamerican region who are interested in learning entrepreneurial skills to commercialize their scientific inventions. Such an educational programme is missing in many of the developing countries for scientists working in universities and scientific institutions. The participants will benefit from the international perspective provided in this Workshop from both experts and co-participants from developing countries.

Airport, arrival and local transportation

The closest major airport serving Tuxtla Gutiérrez is the Angel Albino Corso Airpot and it is very small. After you get your luggage and a few steps you are on the road where taxis and other cars are standing or running.

The official and cheapest taxi transportation from and to the airport are "Taxis Azules" and the local phone numer for it are 614-5246. The price is $260.00 pesos (approximately $20.00 dlls) asking for Ticket.

Normally it is a forty-five minutes drive from the airport to the hotel.

Inside Tuxtla, the price of the taxis are approximately $3.00 dlls or $40 pesos.


Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan (Institute of Physics), Fernando Brambila (Mexican Association for Innovation in Educational Technology), Joseph Niemela (International Centre for Theoretical Physics), Surya Raghu (Advanced Fluidics LLC), Elí Santos (Co-Director of MCTP), Arnulfo Zepeda (Director of MCTP), Elí Santos (Vice-Director of MCTP).

Goals and objectives

The objective of this Workshop is to introduce to scientists and engineers the process of innovation, generation and protection of intellectual property, technology transfer and commercialization of a product.


Attendance is open to scientists, engineers, enterpreneurs and investors from the countries of Mesoamerica and The Caribean. As the Workshop will be conducted in English, participants should have an adequate working knowledge of that language.

As a rule, travel and subsistence expenses of the participants should be borne by the home institution. Every effort should be made by candidates to secure support for their fare (or at least half-fare). However, limited funds are available for some participants who are nationals of, and working in, a developing country, and who are not more than 45 years old. Such support is available only for those who attend the entire activity. Registration is free-of-charge for all attendees. The method for selecting participants who will recived support is by chronological order according to the date of submission of the request.


Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan (UK), IOP
Fernando Brambila (Mexico), AMITE A.C. and UNAM
Richard Brooks (UK), FD Solutions
Franklin Carrero-Martínez (USA), US State Department
José Enrique Cázares-Ávila (Mexico), IMPI
Yumiko Hamano (France), WIPO (RETD.)
Michael Lewis (USA/Mexico), US Embassy in Mexico
Claudia Ludlow (Mexico), Angel Ventures
Duncan Moore (USA), U. Rochester
Joseph Niemela (ITALY), ICTP
Surya Raghu (USA), Advanced Fluidics
Haru Yamasaki (Mexico), FUMEC
Arnulfo Zepeda (Mexico), MCTP and CINVESTAV

Topics include

Relation between scientific research, inventions and products; Institutional roles for commercialization; Physicists as inventors and entrepreneurs; Concept of intellectual property (IP) and its significance in developing countries; Basics of patenting; Global IP protection; Taking science to the market - Timelines and processes for taking an invention to product; Working with industry; Small business financing and business plan fundamentals; Success stories; Science parks and innovation tools; Business plan presentation by participants; training of lecturers and scientists in development of an 'Entrepreneurship Curriculum'.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Session Chairs:
Morning: Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan
Afternoon: Arnulfo Zepeda

Morning and afternoon: "Salón de consejo" (see the map for further reference).

08:30-09:00 Registration
09:00-09:15 Welcome Remarks Arnulfo Zepeda (MCTP & Cinvestav), Rector of UNACH Jaime Valls Esponda, Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan (IOP), and Joseph Niemela (ICTP)
09:15-10:30 Brief introduction of speakers and organizers, Workshop Objectives

1. "Speed-Networking" Exercise
2. Assignment of Project Groups
Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan (IOP), Surya Raghu (Advanced Fluidics)

Richard Brooks (FD Solutions)/Joseph Niemela (ICTP)
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-12:00 US-Central American Govt Partnerships for Entrepreneurship Promotion and Economic Development Franklin Carrero-Martínez (US State Department)
12:00-13:00 Commercializing your inventions - What does it take for a Scientist or Engineer to be an Entrepreneur? Duncan Moore (U. Rochester)
13:00-14:30 Lunch Break
14:30-15:30 Opportunities and Barriers for Commercialization in the region Panel and group exercise.
Raghu/Franklin/Dipali/Richard/Brambila/representative of the Chiapas council of Enterprises
15:30-16:30 Making a business case of an idea - a classroom exercise, introduction to sales price and gross margin, a worked example and introduction to group project Richard Brooks (FD Solutions)
16:30-17:00 Coffee Break
17:00-18:00 Group Project Part 1
1. Groups meet with mentors
2. Product
3. Management team
All Speakers and participants
18:00-18:15 Wrap-up and example video of group project Surya Raghu/Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Session Chairs:
Morning: Franklin Carrero-Martínez
Afternoon: Fernando Brambila

08:30-09:30 Technology Forecasting and Opportunity Assessment Surya Raghu (Advanced Fluidics)
09:30-11:00 Financial terminology including financial forecast app, Return on Investment and Valuation, Business Plan Fundamentals Richard Brooks (FD Solutions)
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:30 Concept of intellectual property and its significance for starting a high-tech company
IP: Patents, trade secrets and trademarks
Who is the inventor and who is not?
Who owns the rights to an invention - you or your organization/company?
Publications vs. patents.
Yumiko Hamano (WIPO University Initiative)
12:30-14:00 Lunch with group mentors, Group v
14:00-15:00 Classroom exercise on patenting an idea Yumiko Hamano/Raghu
15:00-16:00 The Local Patent Office and Patent Filing Procedures José Enrique Cázares-Avila (IMPI)
16:00-16:15 Coffee Break
16:15-17:30 Classroom exercise on commercializing an idea Richard Brooks/Surya Raghu
17:30-18:15 Group Project Part 2
1. IP evaluation and IP strategy
2. Financial Overview
3. Estimating Potential Gross Margin
All speakers, participants
18:15-18:30 Wrap-up for the Day 2 Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan/Surya Raghu

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Session Chairs:
Morning: Amy Flatten
Afternoon: Joseph Niemela

08:30-09:45 Commercializing your innovation - Decision to form your own start-up, license or sell your technology? How does a single inventor/university team/small company make these decisions? Who is the customer? How viable is the technology and how receptive is the market? Yumiko Hamano/Raghu
09:45-11:00 Taking the inventions to market - Evaluating the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of an invention for commercialization, processes involved and estimates of time required to develop a product from an invention. Surya Raghu (Advanced Fluidics)
11:00-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:15 Importance and consequences of IP Enforcement in Mexico and the region Michael Lewis (US Embassy in Mexico)
12:15-13:30 Lunch with group mentors
13:30-14:30 Inventions to start-ups - the ecosystem in the US Duncan Moore
14:30-15:30 Start-up financing options and Expectations of Funders (Govt., Banks, Angel investors and VCs) in Mexico for investing in Hi-Tech Start-Ups" Haru Yamasaki (FUMEC)
15:30-15:45 Coffee Break
15:45-16:45 Examples of successful relations: Enterprise-Academy Fernando Brambila (AMITE & UNAM)
16:45-17:45 Group Project Part 3
Competition Analysis
Barriers to Entry
Strategic Relationships
Forecasting costs and cash requirement, time to market and breakeven, Return on Investment
All speakers and participants
17:45-18:00 Wrap-up for the Day 3 Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan and S. Raghu

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Session Chairs:
Morning: Elí Santos
Afternoon: Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan

08:30-09:30 Importance of Marketing Duncan Moore (U. Rochester)
09:30-10:30 Legal Documents for Entrepreneurs Yumiko Hamano
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-12:00 Start-ups in Mexico Claudia Ludlow
12:00-13:00 Pitching for Cash Richard Brooks
13:00-14:00 Lunch Break
14:00-14:45 Getting Started, Key Decisions and Learning from Failures Surya Raghu
14:45-15:30 Some insights into proposal and business plan writing Joseph Niemela/Richard Brooks
15:30-16:15 "Programa Universidad-Empresa para el Desarrollo Sostenible (PUEDES) in Guatemala" Julio Muñoz from Central American Organization of Universities (CSUCA)
16:15-16:30 Coffee Break
4:30-5:15 (optional session) Introducing Entrepreneurship and Business skills in Science Curriculum Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan and Surya Raghu
16:30-18:30 Group Project Part 4 Complete the 10-minute pitch and practice for Friday's presentation using guidelines provided. All speakers available for consultation on projects

Friday, December 6, 2013

09:00-10:00 Upload business-pitch presentations
Determine order of presentations

Introduction to rules of presentations
Introduction to the panel of judges
Panel: All Speakers, Local industry, business and funding representatives (TBD)

Richard Brooks
Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan
10:00-11:00 Session 1, Groups 1, 2, 3 Timekeeping Official: F. Carrero-Martínez
11:00-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:15 Session 2, Groups 5, 6, 7 Timekeeping Official: F. Carrero-Martínez
12:15-14:00 Lunch Break
14:00-15:00 Feedback to the participants on their business pitch

Feedback from participants to the organizers (written and informal)
All panelists:
Moderator: Richard Brooks (FD Solutions)

All participants
Moderator: Surya Raghu (Advanced Fluidics)
15:00-15:15 Follow-up Support from IOP Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan
15:15-15:30 Follow-up Support from APS Amy Flatten
15:30 Concluding Remarks
Distribution of Certificates after handing out the written evaluations.
Joseph Niemela & Arnulfo Zepeda
UNACH/MCTP, Ciudad Universitaria
Carretera Emiliano Zapata Km. 4,
Real del Bosque (Terán).
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México.
C. P. 29050
Teléfono 52 (961) 617-80-00
Ext. 8200 y 1380
© 2013 MCTP
Desarrollado por MCTP