Seed World

Growing From One to Portfolio

Occasionally, one is lucky enough to have a conversation with someone whose perspectives capture and summarize your own experiences. Recently, I had an in-depth conversation with a seasoned global patent portfolio manager who beautifully articulated and clarified what I’ve learned over multiple years regarding agricultural innovations. These perspectives are so important that I’d like to share them with you too:

We all recognize and esteem a company who manages to take an innovation to market. But, when that very company tries to repeat the same initial success again and again — essentially moving from a one-hit-wonder to a diversified portfolio of income producing assets — there’s a complication factor that needs to be recognized, understood, and meticulously managed.

The truth is that it’s relatively easy to manage one or two products in development, one or two patents, one or two strategic relationships, contracts and licensing agreements. But, if you’re going to manage multiple layers of technologies or products or innovations, you not only need to know your industry and offering, you need to know the limits of your internal and external expertise. As your intellectual property portfolio expands, there comes a point that a company needs experienced support to help lead the way in each of the various disciplines required to develop and bring to market agricultural innovations. These subject matter experts range from human resources experts to patent protection legal advisors to scientists and innovation specialists to marketing gurus: a team who works in very different areas to achieve a single goal – the most profitable commercialization possible.

Achieving the optimal team who builds out the intellectual property portfolio also requires a variety of perspectives who ask important and specifically the right questions. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of innovation or to become biased towards one product or another in the pipeline, both of which can blind one to opportunities. The right team is critical to keeping a business on track.

In short, building a portfolio requires a very different mindset than being successful with a single or even a couple of products and technologies.

At Kannar, we’ve been incredibly lucky to build and foster a diverse, highly skilled and – equally importantly – passionately committed team. I’ve always known that our team is key to our success, but my conversation about portfolio building last week underscored just how lucky Kannar is to have the team we do!