The principals of incubic have a successful track record as corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investor. We provide coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs and also invest selectively. We currently have investments in four companies.
We believe business is built on excellence and trust. We are helpful to entrepreneurs because ultimately what is good for the business is good for its founders and investors. Having been entrepreneurs, we understand management challenges, and can provide a balanced view to help you make sound decisions. Please feel free to get in touch.
Please refer to our bio for our background and experience.
To an entrepreneur, we are value-added “angels”. We invest, mentor, and coach. We are your partners to work with you and your team to identify opportunities, avoid mistakes, and solve problems. While we prefer getting involved in the early stages, we do invest and work with companies in later rounds. The way we work is to put the success of the business ahead of self-interest, because the company has to succeed in order to provide everyone a satisfactory return. We will provide honest thoughtful input, but expect entrepreneurs to make decisions. Our experience has taught no investor would be able to develop the insight as management, and it is essential for management to own the success and failure of their business.
To an established company, we are strategic advisors and executive coaches to provide a balanced and rational voice to your team, and we serve on boards. We are helpful and can draw upon our many years of experience in executive positions in running private and public companies and our technical depth and breadth to be an effective sounding board on all aspect of a business. In addition, Dr. Colella has unusual insight and depth on intellectual property strategy. We also have access to an extensive network of professional resources to complement what we do.
To the technology community, we are volunteers who are deeply committed to fostering economic growth by creating synergism between technology development and commercialization. We have been advisors to national laboratories, government agencies, and universities, and we write magazine columns and are frequent speakers at technical conferences. We firmly believe engineers can be more effective on the job and more successful in their careers if they take an interest in business, management, and entrepreneurship.
To succeed, a business must create value with capital efficiently.
Building a successful business takes far more than a breakthrough technology and a useful product idea. Differentiations and competitive advantages, business strategy, financial resources, operational finesse, and whatever capability and unique ingredient that enables a business to succeed must all be put into place with the team operating harmoniously.
We believe it is essential that management and its investors are able to address issues intellectually. That can only occur if there mutual respect to establish a professional and trusting working relationship. These views are deeply ingrained in the way we operate and underscore the approach we take to help grow each business.
We believe every startup company can succeed because many of the fatal mistakes that set up companies to fail can be avoided. Instead of following the pack to pursue a grandiose “hot idea,” start in a niche that capitalizes on your professional expertise to serve a need in an industry you know. Your first product or service would likely to be on target to avoid market risk; it is easier to raise a modest amount of capital, and you can manage a modest business with common sense. This approach does not mean your business has to remain small. You’ll be gaining practical experience to become business-savvy, getting valid product ideas from customers, and using existing operational infrastructure to grow the business efficiently. And you’ll be able to raise capital at an attractive valuation to expand the business with your track record.
This validity of this common sense approach is empirically verified. Read more about it in the book
Toward Entrepreneurship available at www.miltonchang.com.
Milton Chang is the author of Toward Entrepreneurship. He was president of Newport and New Focus, which he took public. And the companies he incubated resulted in six IPOs and seven acquisitions; none failed. Incubic was formed subsequently to co-invest with VCs, where only roughly 40% of the companies succeeded.
He is a Trustee of the California Institute of Technology and is on the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. He was on the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and also the authoring committee of the National Academies’ Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation. He writes a monthly business and management column for the Laser Focus World. And more recently for the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society.
Dr. Chang earned his BS engineering degree with highest honors from the University of Illinois and PhD from the California Institute of Technology. He was awarded Distinguished Alumni from both U of I and Caltech. He also attended the Harvard Owner/President Management Program (OPM) and was a member of the Young President Organization (YPO). He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Optical Society of America, and the Laser Institute of America, and past president of IEEE Photonics Society and the Laser Institute of America. He is a member of Committee of 100.
Nick Colella was a Senior Vice President at Tessera, Inc., prior to Incubic. He was a member of the senor executive team of Tessera to turn around the company and to take it public in 2003.
Nick held CTO roles in advanced technology companies in energy storage and communications. He held senior positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he conceived and led advanced defense initiatives. He co-founded nChip, Inc., a multi-chip module electronics company later sold to Flextronics International. He helped establish the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon, and chaired its Advisory Board. He has been active in early stage development of companies in the semiconductor, energy, and biomedical spaces and has served advisor and corporate board roles. Nick is an advisor to LLNL, universities, and government agencies. He recently sponsored a robotics club for elementary school students.