Friday, October 7, 2016

MARK BLAXILL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF XLP CAPITAL IS INTERVIEWED BY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF SINGAPORE

Building a Viable Business Around Intellectual Property
By Mark Blaxill, Executive Director of XLP Capital The author is the co-author of Boston Consulting Group’s first patent application, and is the co-author of The Invisible Edge: Taking Your Strategy to the Next Level Using Intellectual Property. 

In the modern economy, the most important source of competitive advantage—in most cases the only source—is something that too few business leaders understand. It is IP—intellectual property—the indispensable but unheralded key to understanding businesses, markets and economies in the modern era. Today, IP is rapidly becoming the new foundation of businesses and markets.

Today’s corporate leaders must prioritize their efforts to understand IP and use it strategically. Businesses which have successfully harnessed their intangible assets are among the world’s most profitable companies. 

Take Gillette, for example, a business often (and mistakenly) described as capturing a consumer with a cheap platform, the razor, and then making money on the repeat purchase of the blade. Gillette has many competitors all over the world, all of them willing to sell an inexpensive razor and blade combination. What makes Gillette’s success remarkable is its ability to sustain its competitive performance advantage over time. 

How do they do this? Quite simply, Gillette is able to create and defend a blanket of protection surrounding its shaving innovations, thereby controlling critical technologies – such as new blade exposure angles, tighter blade spacing, and better debris wash-through. 

Another successful approach to IP and innovation has come from consumer products giant, Procter & Gamble (P&G). For years, P&G focused exclusively on internal technology development, but starting over a decade ago, P&G adopted its Connect and Develop approach to innovation: actively in-licensing world class technology in its core products while also forcing internal innovations to out-license if P&G can’t use the technology within three to five years. This open licensing policy has had unexpected competitive benefits for P&G product developers, who are pushing themselves ever harder as they watch the three and five year timers tick. Connect and Develop has transformed P&G’s R&D function into a vital innovation network, teeming with transactions and embracing commercial opportunities whenever and wherever they presented themselves. 

Some of Singapore’s leading companies are taking heed of the importance of IP strategy and finding ways to protect and leverage their own innovations. Local company Masai Group International has developed some of the world’s most innovative walking shoe technology, Masai Barefoot Technology, shoes designed to “simulate the challenge of walking barefoot on soft earth”. Masai has long struggled with the challange of protecting its technology from copycats (CEO Andy Chaw calls defending his IP “a constant battle”), but now, thanks to a loan from DBS Bank, Masai will have new resources to defend its patents from infringement, invest in R&D and promote its brand. The loan was a result of the IP Financing Scheme administered by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, which allows IP-rich Singapore companies raise money using their patents, trademarks or copyrights as collateral. A Singapore furniture manufacturer, Koda, has built IP-based growth strategies by actively franchising and licensing their subsidiary brand – Commune – into overseas markets like China. With the assistance of a business consultancy firm, Commune was able to identify gaps in its IP management policies and went on to protect their IP in key markets before franchising and licensing its brand. In the meantime, Asia as a region has forged ahead with the largest number of IP filings. Asia’s trade mark and patent filings account for 52 and 60 per cent, respectively, of international filings in 2014. Locally, IP investments in Singapore are also reaching an all-time high, with trade mark and patent filings up 5 and 9 per cent, respectively, in 2015.

In today’s knowledge-oriented economy, Singapore’s leading companies need to recognise that innovation without protection is philanthropy. Trek 2000 is a Singapore company that serves as a cautionary tale. The company is credited as the inventor of the ThumbDrive®, however that was all they got as they showcased the world’s first and smallest USB flash drive at a computer expo while their patent was still pending. When the invention loses its “novelty” factor, it can no longer be protected. CEO Henn Tan calls that the company’s “single biggest mistake”. Trek 2000 has since gone on to grow their IP portfolio and has over 600 patents in its name. 

This principle applies both to companies seeking to build a sustainable competitive advantage in their core businesses and at the country level for a nation seeking to build its global competitiveness. There is no longer an effective business strategy that does not include an IP strategy.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

XLP CORPORATION OPENS NEW MIDTOWN OFFICE IN NEW YORK

September 6, 2016
NEW YORK, NY – XLP Corporation announced today the opening of its new office in New York. Located in Midtown-East, the office marks XLP’s second location in New York. This expansion will enable XLP to consolidate its advisory, investment, and incubation activities, as well as create a centralized hub for technology development and prototyping. The firm also intends to host quarterly and biannual lectures and small scale conferences dedicated to technology trends and investing.

XLP has grown significantly over the past year, establishing new strategic relationships, recruiting investors, expanding its advisory and incubator networks, and designing innovative ways of investing in technology. The firm has also established a highly successful internship program in New York focused on recruiting students from leading universities across the Northeast. Through its internship program, XLP has also hired additional research analysts to join its New York team.

XLP announced opening of its first New York office in the Seaport district back in summer 2015.

About XLP Corporation  

Headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in New York, NY, XLP takes an engineering-based, hands-on approach to strategic technology investment and advisory work. For XLP, effective business strategy requires a hands-on, deal-driven approach to technology investment, one that applies a management science as advanced as the technologies under management. Whether via the application of high-throughput computational science techniques, rapid prototyping or advanced technology landscaping and analytics, XLP focuses on creating value and wealth through its technology investments. These investments take multiple forms, including venture investing and corporate innovation programs. For more information, please visit www.xlpcapital.com or contact us at info@xlpcapital.com

Press Contact
212-752-5392

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Monday, July 25, 2016

XLP CAPITAL AND THE STACK FAMILY OFFICE PRESENT AT OPAL FINANCIAL GROUP’S FAMILY OFFICE AND PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE IN NEWPORT, RI

July 25, 2016
NEW YORK, NY – Matthew Stack, founder of the Stack Family Office and a co-founder of XLP Capital, presented at the Opal Financial Group’s Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum held in Newport, RI on July 18-20. Designed as a meeting ground for some of the most prominent business families in the U.S., Opal Financial Group’s Family Office and Private Wealth Management Conference series focuses on investment trends, opportunities, and collaboration among attendees. On a panel titled “Investing in Technology,” Mr. Stack discussed his extensive experience as an angel and early stage investor in prominent technology companies in the early 2000s. His comprehensive overview of the current state of the private market in technology included discussing its cyclical nature, and his conviction that the technology industry is in a bubble. According to Mr. Stack “angel investing was profitable 10 years ago. Right now, the only way to make wise investments in technology is either through vigorous internal due diligence on the venture side, or through shorts on the public side. We don’t invest in anything that has a website or an app.” 

Mr. Stack explained  XLP Capital’s view that technology companies are overvalued. Unicorns are meant to be rare, maybe even unheard of, yet the last two years have seen the emergence of more venture-funded companies with pre-IPO valuations >$1 billion than the previous decade. Mr. Stack, and the investment team at XLP Capital, believe that such valuations are unsustainable and stultifying to public and private funds. Overvaluation of startups practically bars investor exits. The prospect of several multiples on investment that used to characterize the return on venture investing is gone. Nevertheless, unicorns have become abundant.  

Mr. Stack also discussed the effects that high valuations of privately-held technology companies have had on family offices. Many family offices are early investors in unicorns. Those who have decided not to exit until the unicorn goes public, now face a challenge. As more and more unicorns choose to remain private due to the vast discrepancy between private and public market valuations, family offices and other seed / early stage investors are forced to hold on to their investments. Many families are concerned about the value of these shares going forward and are looking for ways to hedge their potential losses if said unicorn were to fail. Mr. Stack discussed investing in short only funds as one available method of risk hedging. He discussed in detail the effort and time dedicated by the XLP team to identifying overvalued companies and analyzing their impact on XLP’s existing portfolio of private investments. Mr. Stack also discussed his decision to significantly reduce the number of venture investments as a direct consequence of the hyper-valuation of technology startups. Despite reducing the number of venture investments, XLP will continue to focus on incubation, in-house technology development, and proprietary tool innovation.

About XLP Capital

Headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in New York, NY, XLP takes an engineering-based, hands-on approach to strategic technology investment and advisory work. For XLP, effective business strategy requires a hands-on, deal-driven approach to technology investment, one that applies a management science as advanced as the technologies under management. Whether via the application of high-throughput computational science techniques, rapid prototyping or advanced technology landscaping and analytics, XLP focuses on creating value and wealth through its technology investments. These investments take multiple forms, including venture investing and corporate innovation programs. For more information, please visit www.xlpcapital.com or contact us at info@xlpcapital.com


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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

XLP CAPITAL ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF SIFTPAGE, INC.

January 12, 2016
BOSTON, MA – XLP Capital announced today the acquisition of Siftpage, Inc.– a Boston-based data mining and analysis startup. Founded in 2013 by Harvard and MIT alumni, Siftpage, Inc. pioneered the development of powerful algorithms for deep web analytics, word extraction, and semantic data mining. This acquisition will grant XLP Capital access to proprietary deep web analytics and mining applications focused on technology asset valuation and due diligence.

Founded in 2015, XLP Capital aims to revolutionize consulting and investment industries with its hands on, client-focused and product-centric approach. Matthew Stack, Managing Director and co-founder of XLP Capital, has served on Siftpage’s Board of Advisors since its inception.: “In the past two years, it has been my pleasure to serve on the board of this big data company. Today, we recognize the value of Siftpage’s data harvesting and deep web analytics as applied to XLP’s core clients, and to the financial services and hedge fund industry broadly.” The acquisition of Siftpage will merge its existing proprietary technology, hardware, and software platforms with XLP Capital’s team of finance, technology and intellectual property professionals. This will enhance XLP’s analytic capabilities and allow for much more efficient data aggregation, analysis, and utilization in XLP’s advisory and investment lines of business.

In light of increasing investment and M&A activity in the fintech big data analytics market, one emerging trend has been the acquisition of proprietary technologies by hedge funds and institutional fund managers. an evolution away from the “acquihire” buyouts of the large Silicon Valley software startups. XLP’s acquisition of Siftpage, Inc. is a testament to XLP’s goal to establish partnerships, and provide mentorship alongside operational and logistical support to startups developing analytics technologies of the future. In a related move, XLP acquired Lambda Prime, a Boston-based technology investment fund and incubator, in August 2015. “We at XLP look forward to continuing discussions with other promising data mining companies who are in the process of creating groundbreaking technologies and are looking for partners, collaborators, and mentors” – said Mr. Stack.

About Siftpage
Siftpage, Inc, founded by two MIT and Harvard CS and Physics grads in 2013, specializes in structured data extraction and statistical analysis tasks involving unstructured text documents and natural language processing techniques. Using cutting-edge machine learning technologies, Siftpage has built data exploration and analysis tools for SEC filings, legal contracts, web data, and other unstructured corpora, and has worked with clients ranging from hedge funds to large consumer products multinationals to security technology startups.

About XLP Capital
XLP Capital is a technology development, venture investment, and strategy advisory firm. Headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in New York, NY, and Arlington, VA, XLP takes an engineering-based, hands-on approach to strategic technology investment and advisory work. It applies sophisticated management science to a hands-on, deal-driven approach to technology investment. Whether via the application of high-throughput computational science techniques, rapid prototyping or advanced technology landscaping and analytics, XLP focuses on creating value and wealth through its technology investments. These investments take multiple forms, including venture investing, shareholder activism and corporate innovation programs. For more information, please visit www.xlpcapital.com or contact us at info@xlpcapital.com.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

MARGARET PETERLIN JOINS XLP CAPITAL AS MANAGING DIRECTOR

November 30, 2015
BOSTON, MA – XLP Capital is pleased to announce that Margaret Peterlin has joined as Managing Director. In this role, Margaret will become an integral part of XLP's advisory, investment, and incubation services and contribute to the firm's expansion in the Northeast. Margaret is a proven, dynamic leader who has  flexibly-transitioned across multiple sectors, having served in the U.S. Navy, clerked for a Federal Appeals Judge, served as senior staff on Capitol Hill, managed the US Patent and Trademark Office, and most-recently managed intellectual capital and technology strategy at Mars, Inc. Margaret has extensive experience with administrative law as well as deep operations exposure to Federal agencies, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Defense, and Health and Human Services. An entrepreneur within large organizations, Ms. Peterlin is able to connect the talents of those around her into clear strategies and then drive operational follow-through.

Prior to joining XLP, Ms. Peterlin served as the CEO of Profectus Global Corp., a consulting firm that provides senior-level government and business advice to clients in a range of industries, from a major food corporation to research labs. Ms. Peterlin has served as the Technology Strategy Officer at Mars, Inc., a global Staff Officer position accountable for identifying policies, processes, and tools to maximize return on investment for food-related technology. At the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), Ms. Peterlin served as the Deputy Undersecretary for Intellectual Property (IP) and the Deputy Director of the USPTO. In her role, Ms. Peterlin effectively operated as the Chief Operating Officer for the USPTO, providing leadership to over 9,700 employees, 2,600 contractors, and the management of a $2.1B budget. Prior to these positions, Ms. Peterlin served as a Policy Analyst and Counsel for Legal Policy for the Speaker of the House, eventually serving as his National Security Advisor. This position was subsequent to her service as the General Counsel and Policy Analyst for the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.  

Ms. Peterlin proudly followed her father's example of military service and began her career as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy. In her Navy career, she served as both a Command Administrative Officer and a Communications Officer. Ms. Peterlin achieved the highest Communications Ashore qualifications one year early, setting the Command standard, and graduated first in the Legal Officer Course. Ms. Peterlin was selected to serve as a White House Social Aide (1 of 12 Navy-wide) and among her awards are the Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medals. 

Her formal education includes a Bachelor’s degree from The College of Holy Cross on a four-year scholarship. She also received her JD from The University of Chicago, The Law School, where she graduated with honors and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the The Chicago Journal of International Law. Following graduation she served as a judicial clerk for The Honorable Jerry E. Smith, for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

About XLP Capital
XLP Capital is a technology development, venture investment, and strategy advisory firm. Headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in New York, NY and Arlington, VA, XLP takes an engineering-based, hands-on approach to strategic technology investment and advisory work. It applies sophisticated management science to a hands-on, deal-driven approach to technology investment. Whether via the application of high-throughput computational science techniques, rapid prototyping or advanced technology landscaping and analytics, XLP focuses on creating value and wealth through its technology investments. These investments take multiple forms, including venture investing, shareholder activism and corporate innovation programs. For more information, please visit www.xlpcapital.com or contact us at info@xlpcapital.com.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

XLP CAPITAL AND THE STACK FAMILY OFFICE PRESENT AT OPAL FINANCIAL GROUP'S FAMILY OFFICE AND PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE IN NAPA, CA

November 10, 2015
BOSTON, MA – Matthew Stack, founder of the Stack Family Office and a co-founder of XLP Capital, presented at the Opal Financial Group’s Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum – West held in Napa, CA on October 28-30. Designed as a meeting ground for some of the most prominent business families in the U.S., Opal Financial Group’s Family Office and Private Wealth Management Conference series focus on investment trends, opportunities, and collaboration among attendees. On a panel titled “Investing in Technology,” Mr. Stack discussed his extensive experience as an angel and early stage investor in prominent technology companies in the early 2000s. His comprehensive overview of the current state of the private market in technology included discussing its cyclical nature, and his conviction that the technology industry is in a bubble. According to Mr. Stack “angel investing was profitable 10 years ago. Right now, the only way to make wise investments in technology is either through vigorous internal due diligence on the venture side, or through shorts on the public side. We don’t invest in anything that has a website or an app.” 

Mr. Stack explained  XLP Capital’s view that technology companies are overvalued. Unicorns are meant to be rare, maybe even unheard of, yet FY2015 alone has seen the emergence of more venture-funded companies with pre-IPO valuations >$1 billion than the previous several years combined. Mr. Stack, and the investment team at XLP Capital, believe that such valuations are unsustainable and stultifying to public and private funds. Overvaluation of startups practically bars investor exits. The prospect of several multiples on investment that used to characterize the return on venture investing is gone. Nevertheless, unicorns have become abundant. Due to his beliefs of the unsustainability of technology startup valuations, Mr. Stack confessed his nickname “the unicorn hunter,” creating a moment of shared amusement among attendees.

XLP Capital announced the acquisition of the Lambda Prime venture fund and incubator late this summer. Lambda Prime is dedicated to the under-served technology investment gap created by the over-growth of traditional venture funds and the commoditization of web and IT investing. The firm’s philosophy centers on applying ever more novel mathematical approaches and algorithms across industries. Lambda Prime invests resources and capital, but more importantly, provides a platform of computational and proprietary data sets only available to in-house portfolio companies. Through Lambda Prime, XLP Capital is an active investor, one recent find is Haystack Technologies – an “internet of things” company that holds invaluable IP in the space.

About XLP Capital

XLP Capital is a technology development, venture investment, and strategy advisory firm. Headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in New York, NY, the DC-metro area, and the Berkshires, XLP takes an engineering-based, hands-on approach to strategic technology investment and advisory work. For XLP, management science means a hands-on, deal-driven approach to technology investment. Whether via the application of high-throughput computational science techniques, rapid prototyping or advanced technology landscaping and analytics, XLP focuses on creating value and wealth. These investments take multiple forms, including venture investing, shareholder activism and corporate innovation programs. For more information, please visit www.xlpcapital.com or contact us at info@xlpcapital.com
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

XLP CAPITAL ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT IN HAYSTACK TECHNOLOGIES

October 13, 2015
BOSTON, MASS – XLP capital announced today an investment in Haystack Technologies – a San Mateo, California-based private company developing technology for the Internet-of-Things industry. Founded in 2010, Haystack Technologies joins XLP Capital’s growing list of investments with an impressive intellectual property portfolio and decades of technology development experience. The deal values Haystack Technologies at 10 million USD. This investment is a continuation of XLP Capital’s efforts to merge the gap between industry advisory, technology development and investments. The firm’s more involved, hands on approach has already generated tremendous interest. XLP Capital announced the acquisition of Lambda Prime Investment Fund, a Boston MA-based technology startup incubator, in August 2015 to serve as the technology development and innovation arm. Haystack Technologies will be housed at Lambda Prime

About Haystack Technologies
Haystack Technologies is a privately held company with over 30 granted and pending patents developed to bridge the gap between cloud-based, distributed databases and low-power, wireless sensors for Internet of Things applications. To achieve this, Haystack has developed unique technologies for maximizing two-way query throughput between a base station and an ultra low-power sensor endpoint.
Haystack’s DASH7 wireless stack is now used by dozens of companies and hundreds of developers worldwide, because it is the most energy-efficient wireless technology with two-way data transport, high security, and location features. We believe there is an opportunity for Haystack to disrupt the big-data industry by enabling the cloud database user to interact with the sensor endpoint, directly, in real-time.

About XLP Capital
XLP Capital is a technology development, venture investment, and strategy advisory firm. Headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in New York, NY, and the Berkshires, XLP takes an engineering-based, hands-on approach to strategic technology investment and advisory work. It applies sophisticated management science to a hands-on, deal-driven approach to technology investment. Whether via the application of high-throughput computational science techniques, rapid prototyping or advanced technology landscaping and analytics, XLP focuses on creating value and wealth through its technology investments. These investments take multiple forms, including venture investing, shareholder activism and corporate innovation programs. For more information, please visit www.xlpcapital.com or contact us at info@xlpcapital.com.
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