Making and growing connections at AUTM2017

By: Alyssa Nacewicz, Director of Sales & Marketing

This year Foresight sent two staff members (myself included) to the AUTM Annual Meeting which took place March 13-15 in beautiful Hollywood, FL. In contrast to the last 14 years when we sponsored and exhibited at the event, we had the opportunity to enjoy the event as attendees, sit down, and really talk with our current and potential customers. Though the world has shifted so much towards connecting through social media, email, etc. we find that it is still extremely important to connect face-to-face. Being able to chat openly over lunch to raise opinions, questions, and concerns helps to build and grow connections that are extremely important in this industry.

Sometimes we get so lost in the work that we do to commercialize an innovation and get hung up on what needs to be done, that we begin to lose sight of why. This was the topic of what I felt was the most exciting part of the conference—the plenary speech by Kavita Shukla. Dr. Shukla spoke about her difficulties and ultimately success in commercializing her technology, FreshPaper. Her moving speech told the story of how and why she came up with her innovation and though at times she felt so close to giving up, she found inspiration from her colleagues, friends, and teachers to persevere. Among many of the other attendees, I walked out of the session feeling empowered, knowing that as technology transfer professionals we have the power to make a difference and bring about change the world.

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