by: Thomas C. Kinnear

Publication Date: October 14, 2009
Length: 16 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-884

Core Disciplines: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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Nanocerox is a start-up company based in Ann Arbor, MI, that provides nanopowder based research and development solutions for corporate customers. Powders are used in everyday items such as ceramic plates, cell phone covers, and metal coatings. Nanopowders, which are smaller powders made from increasingly pure elements, have a whole host of new, high-technology applications, ranging from microelectronics, to prosthetics, to more durable defense equipment. With limited resources and the need for venture funding to continue operations, Nanocerox’s management knows that it needs to develop a strategic plan to commercialize its technology. Five corporations have approached Nanocerox about the possibility of forming a strategic alliance. The difficulty is that each alliance requires a different application. In this case, in order to raise outside funds, management must decide which market application(s) would allow the company to best reach profitability and what type of business model to use.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • describe appropriate business terms and principles approriate to this case,
  • apply critical concepts from earlier learning to define a solution to the case,
  • successfully articulate data and information in support of the solution proposed,
  • critically analyze and discuss other responses and solutions to the case,
  • draw lessons from the case analysis,
  • generalize the learnings of this case to other business challenges and decisions in organizations other than the one analyzed in this case study,
  • demonstrate leadership and scholarship in analysis.