Bridging the Gap Between Science and Commerce: Finding “Rosetta Stones”... Learn the Languages of Business

Bridging the Gap Between Science and Commerce: Finding “Rosetta Stones” to
Learn the Languages of Business
Dr. Joel Howard, CEO, Applied Biorefinery Sciences LLC
Said the venture capitalist to the scientist: “You might have invented what you think is the neatest
technology ever, but the only thing I care about is ‘How much money can I make with it?’ ” Technology
that “works” at laboratory scale is not sufficient to bridge the gap between science and commerce. To be
economically viable, technology must be scalable to commercial production such that revenues exceed
costs of production by a rate of return that is acceptable to investors. While that statement may be almost
an intuitive “given”, what is not clear to many beginning entrepreneurs is that most start-up businesses fail
because they, quite simply, run of money before they are adequately positioned to talk with investors. To
shorten that time span, it is helpful to have a clear pathway for learning the “languages” of business. This
presentation discusses Applied Biorefinery Sciences as a case study about suggested “Rosetta stones”
that may reduce the time and strengthen the argument for successful capitalization of an emerging
business venture.
Dr. Howard earned his Doctorate in Forest Ecology from North Carolina State University; a Master of
Science in Silviculture, a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management, and a Certificate in
Forest Technology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry (ESF), Syracuse, NY; as
well as a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS. Dr. Howard
served as Manager of the Pack Demonstration Forest in Warrensburg, NY from 1978-1982, as Director of
the SUNY-ESF Forest & Natural Resources Management Summer Program from 1977-1997, and as a
professor of Forest Ecology at SUNY ESF in Syracuse, NY from 1986-1997. From 2000-2007 he worked
as Senior Natural Resource Manager in Florida-based Sustainable Community Development before
returning to New York State to assume the role of co-founder and CEO of Applied Biorefinery Sciences in
2008. Dr. Howard has authored or co-authored several patents including process and equipment
innovations for commercial biorefinery application.