Monday, September 18, 2006

My other life as a nanotech pitchman

This feature on Arrowhead Research Corp. in Fast Company magazine, written by my friend and former Small Times correspondent Michael Fitzgerald, was based on an idea I pitched to Michael back when I did some public relations work for Arrowhead.

I do not want to insult Michael or Fast Company by making it appear that they are overly influenced by nanotech pitchmen, and Michael is experienced enough to know fluff from substance, but this is one example of how I can help nanotech companies get some media attention.

I have discovered that many firms are discouraged with professional PR agencies that not only have little clue as to what appeals to journalists, but also struggle with explaining their technology to the masses. I have no such problems.

Anyway, I've pitched a few companies (nano and non) recently on my ability to get results as a PR person. More examples are available by request. Here's a snippet of Michael's Fast Company story:

Nano Is Nice
Bruce Stewart is building a nanotech research conglomerate.

Bruce Stewart doesn't look like a nanotechnology magnate. At 69, he's old enough to dodder. He doesn't always finish his sentences. He doesn't have a PhD, and his background is in investing, not science. His business strategy? Be nice.

"My dad told me, 'Always have a smile and be friendly, and it'll pay back tenfold,'" Stewart says. He plans to make money with a daring approach to funding technology: He's trying to corner key nanotechnology research, then develop it commercially. His company, Arrowhead Research Corp., has assembled more than 160 key patents in nanotech. It has started four promising companies, and it's sponsoring research at Duke, Stanford, and the California Institute of Technology.

Arrowhead is far enough along, in fact, that two of its shareholders upped their stakes by almost $20 million in January, although the company likely won't deliver significant revenues for at least two more years. "If nanotech is going to be a big business, Stewart will have built the model," predicts Doug Thomas, president of JET Investment Research in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. More here

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