By 2006, IR Microsystems (IRM) had 8 employees on the payroll, all of them with technical/engineering backgrounds. The first major external funding had come in 2003 from a collection of investors, including a local VC fund, which was attracted by the growth potential of IRM’s technological products. Initially, the company had focused its resources on developing a low-cost solution for infrared detection and gas/liquid analysis. However, sales did not take off and after a few years it was clear that IRM needed a new product. So the company refocused its efforts on the development of tunable diode laser spectrometry (TDLS), a laser gas detection technology with great promise. By 2006, pressure from investors to start generating serious revenues from TDLS, or at least to sign the first significant sales contract, was increasing. How could the company move forward with this novel technology base? Could it capitalize on the learning of the last four years?
• Market entry in high technology fields
• Managing the early phases of growth
• Dealing with investors
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