About ten years ago I attended Nanotech Tokyo for the first time. We had a group of some 10-11 Finnish nanotech companies going to the trade fair at Tokyo Big Sight, the stand was called FMNT Finnish Micro Nano Technology -joint stand. At the event there was a lot of buzz and high expectations in the air. Carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanowire forests, nanothinfilms. There was a lot of excitement.
I believe what we were experiencing back then was to be described as “On the Rise – Technology Trigger” on the Gartner Hype Curve. Some time later I guess we hit the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” with some of the things, like CNT’s. Many even pulled away from that business. But those who didn’t pull away, but lived thru the “Trough of Disillusionment” started seeing new growth some time later – even “Slope of Enlightenment”.
Now in 2016 we’re in very exciting times, but now it’s all about the “Plateau of Productivity” for nanoelectronics, and many other fields of nanotechnology.
Let’s take the company Canatu, for instance. In 2007 the research group from Helsinki University of Technology (nowadays Aalto University) published a ground breaking article on single walled carbon nanotubes combined with fullerenes, allowing the creation of new form of flexible nanoelectronics – and the researchers spun out to form a company called Canatu to commercialize the technology.
Finally, 4 weeks ago Canatu landed a 22 million Euro funding round allowing them now to finally go an conquer the world. Their replacement for ITO Indium Tin Oxide touch-surfaces is one of the first ready-to-go solutions they can now offer to the industry. And because they’ve spent all these years carefully, and experimenting in different customer cases, they’re now finally ready to market, and I believe, the Plateau of Productivity.
All of these companies have gone thru the hype, disillusionment and are now all on the growth path.
I guess this proves (again), that entrepreneurship is also about believing in yourself and – perseverence. You just don’t give up. Then you can be successful!
As Henry Ford put it: “Whether you say you can, or cannot – you’re right!”