The VTC Model
The Virtual Technology Cluster (“VTC”) model works by connecting entrepreneurs, policymakers, advisers, investors and buyers in a mutually beneficial online community.
Qualified companies (“Members”) are attracted to join a VTC by three levels of sponsor, each of which supplies value to the Members.
- Headline Sponsor: The lead sponsor offers the possibility of revenues from commercial relationships or R&D partnerships. In addition, the lead sponsor defines the criteria within which the VTC will operate – e.g. membership criteria, codes of conduct, etc
- Co-sponsors: A set of organisations which are complementary to the Headline sponsor and whose interests are aligned. Co-sponsors also offer members the chance of earning income from end-customer relationships or other collaborations.
- Industry Experts: Assistance in the form of a video Master Class, Health Checks, VTC specific forums etc is supplied by group of around 30 professional advisors each offering a business scale up service in a defined category. Areas of expertise range from IP protection to employee benefit schemes.
Membership is free and requires no commitment other than to adhere to a Code of Conduct. The absence of any charge or demand for equity allows it to operate as a complementary program to existing sources of innovation.
The virtual nature of the VTC means that entrepreneurial IT companies don’t have to contemplate moving their operations in order to access potential customers, partners and advisors. Learning the lessons of the Facebook Age, the VTC provides a variety of means for the membership community to collaborate with their peers as well as connect to external bodies such as IP-rich university research facilities.
A community manager is provided by the Virtual Technology Cluster Group, and the process is governed by a Board consisting of representatives from the sponsors and the VTC Group.
Success is determined by commercial success (“Impact”) namely the quantifiable financial benefit accruing to the sponsors through collaboration with the VTC member companies.