FAQ

What does GrowthPilot really do?

We work with manufacturing companies like yours in a variety of industries—chemicals, materials, plastics, industrial equipment, electrical equipment, forest products, sensors, coatings, consumer products, healthcare, medical devices, imaging equipment, etc.—to help you achieve growth by reaching opportunities in new markets aimed at customers beyond your core. Working as part of your team, we help:

  • Find new markets for your existing products and technologies;
  • Locate technologies (or acquisition targets) needed to complete a product or strategic vision;
  • Rapidly investigate early-stage opportunities, delivering the information you need to make investment decisions or intelligently stop projects that are unlikely to succeed;
  • Identify your innovation ideas with the greatest chance of achieving success in the market; and
  • Create custom projects to assist with a broad array of early-stage challenges such as locating the best first market for a new chemical/material, identifying unmet needs in target markets to guide R&D efforts, and managing bench-to-bench collaboration between target customers and your internal R&D.

Why the name GrowthPilot?

Because what we do for our clients is very similar to what a harbor pilot does for ships arriving and departing from busy ports.

Captains are expert at navigating their ships through the open seas, but entering port is the riskiest part of the voyage: as the ship approaches land, it’s also approaching narrowing shipping lanes, unpredictable currents, shallow water, and shifting sandbars. So the captain brings on a harbor pilot: an expert shiphandler with detailed knowledge of the local waters who guides the ship through the danger. The pilot is is expected to exercise independent judgment to prevent a ship from engaging in unsafe operations.

A CEO is a lot like a ship’s captain and is expert at the efficient running of the company in normal conditions. But early-stage projects aimed at customers outside your core are special circumstances, and companies all over the world have run-aground time and again trying to get these ideas to market. That’s where GrowthPilot comes in. We’re experts at navigating the shoals and shallows of growth opportunities, and we can get you safely to market.

How do you define "growth opportunities"?

At a very high level, “growth” can come from

  1. Selling more of what you already make to customers you already know;
  2. Selling what you already make into new markets with new customers (adjacent opportunities);
  3. Creating a new product to sell into new markets (transformational opportunities); and
  4. Making acquisitions that bring revenue with them or—sometimes—enable you to access adjacent/transformational opportunities for the first time.

The first of these growth paths is essentially a marketing exercise, and we will not be much help there. So when we describe “growth opportunities,” it is the last three we are talking about, and they are the sole focus of our work.

Who are your clients?

We work almost exclusively with companies that make physical products (B-to-B or B-to-C) and need capacity to more rapidly and efficiently investigate growth opportunities. Because growth challenges tend to increase as companies get larger and processes become more formalized, we generally work with bigger companies: the vast majority of our clients have revenue in excess of $750m annually, most are in the Forbes 2000, and many are routinely recognized as being among the most innovative companies in the world. But if you are smaller and are looking for new growth paths, don’t let these stats keep you from giving us a call: our projects are affordable, and—whatever your size—we can help.

Who hires you?

We are hired by senior executives at the corporate or business unit level, and we work with ad-hoc teams assembled from across your organization.

What do your projects cost?

This is a question you never see on a consultant website because an honest answer would usually be “too much” or “we bill by the hour so you’ll know the cost when you get the bill.” We’re different. All our projects are fixed price, and most include expenses. Every project is built from the ground up to meet your specific needs in the context of your goals, and most fall in a range from $30k to $75k, though many projects are above or below this range. Many clients purchase annual packages, and this can lower average project costs.

How long does a project take?

There is a lot of variation here, but most projects are completed in 45 to 90 days.

You are not an expert in my industry . . . how can you possibly help?

Our expertise is in creating growth, whatever your industry. We bring to bear many decades of experience in the areas that determine the shape of your growth curve:

  • Market Dynamics. How is your target market behaving? What segments are growing and why? What are your competitors doing? Why is driving changing customer behavior?
  • Technology Commercialization. What customers have unmet needs that your technology can solve? What will they be willing to pay for your solution? How are they solving the problem today and why will your solution be better? What are the competing technologies aimed at solving the same problem?
  • Commercialization Processes. What factors—specific to your company—are preventing you from meeting your growth goals? How can you solve these challenges without doing an expensive, time-consuming, and likely-to-fail overhaul of your “culture”? What are the best-practices of growth leaders?

We apply this expertise across multiple industries where firms create and sell physical products, drawing on our deep experience and broad network of industry and technology experts.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but part of our value proposition is that we are not experts in your industry. Expertise can sometimes limit vision, and we often identify opportunities that company insiders would never even have considered. We attack every problem with fresh eyes and an open mind, delivering the objective data and insights you need to make decisions.

An example: A few years ago, the CEO of a Fortune 100 company was told by all his scientists that economically recycling CO2 was impossible because the molecular bond was too strong to break without massive expenditures of energy. When he hired us to investigate, the CEO said, “You don’t know enough to tell me it can’t be done, so please go prove my scientists wrong.” We did, and the technology is now nearing commercialization. In short, our people are technically sophisticated, and we learn what we need to know to provide you with OUR expertise: rapidly data-driven insights necessary to make confident investment decisions.

Why the name change from iP2Biz to GrowthPilot?

When we were founded in 2003, our focus was on helping large manufacturers commercialize interesting intellectual property being matured in universities and near-university spin-outs. As we worked with clients on these projects, they began asking us for assistance in other areas, and our services began to expand. Scouting IP is still something we do all the time, but the scope of our work has evolved and broadened, focusing on all the ways we can help our clients achieve growth outside their core. We think GrowthPilot captures this. And it’s a lot easier to spell.