The Idea: Tips and Tools for Starting a Product Business

“Ultreo is the first power toothbrush to combine patented ultrasound waveguide technology with precisely tuned sonic bristle action. Ultreo’s bristles create micro-bubbles that are powerfully activated by nearly four million cycles of ultrasound energy per brushing channeled by a patented ultrasound waveguide.” Does that sound like the beginning of a promising product business? If you think so, you’d be shocked to learn that Ultreo is now bankrupt.

How do you ensure that your new product idea makes it to market and thrives? Join this special MITEF Venture Lab, co-hosted by MIT Enterprise Forum and the Product Management Consortium, as we dive into a fascinating case study of the Ultreo toothbrush, and a nuts-and-bolts discussion of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to commercializing bright ideas.

Our speakers include:

Pierre Mourad, Ph.D., Inventor of the Ultreo Toothbrush, Principal Physicist and Research Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington

Dr. Mourad has conducted and published research in oceanography, atmospheric sciences, sonoluminescence, arctic and ocean acoustics, acoustic holography, and medical acoustics. He has generated more than 20 invention disclosures at the University of Washington, and is an inventor on three issued patents and another 13 patent applications related to diagnosis or treatment of diseases and disorders. His research has been incorporated into two recent start-up companies – Ratner Biomedical Group and PhaseRx. He also co-founded Allez PhysiOnix to develop and market an intracranial pressure measurement device based on his Doppler ultrasound research. He received a B.A. in Mathematics from Rutgers University, and MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington.

Dr. Mourad’s experience at the intersection of research, medicine and industry has yielded case studies from which any entrepreneur can benefit. His presentation will focus on the Ultreo toothbrush case study, a consumer product he co-developed, and a company he co-founded based on his ultrasound research.

Linda Merrick, CPM, Co-founder and Partner, Pivotal Product Management, Advisory Board, Product Management Consortium

Pivotal Product Management is a Redmond-based product management training and consulting firm that serves an international clientele of companies in a variety of industries. Merrick has served in Product Management and Marketing executive roles in several early-stage local companies, including Who’s Calling, N2H2, Captura Software and Traveling Software, where she led the planning and go-to-market efforts for dozens of products.

She has served as lead instructor in the University of Washington Software Product Management Certificate Program, and as an Advisory Board member for the Seattle-based Product Management Consortium (PMC). TechFlash, the popular online feature of the Puget Sound Business Journal, acknowledged Merrick in its inaugural list of the top women in the Seattle tech industry. She also is the 2007 recipient of the Excellence in Product Management Education Award conferred by the Association of International Product Marketing & Product Management (AIPMM).

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