EECS Fall 2014 Department Seminar

Nicholas A. Barendt
So, You Want to Start a Technology Company?
LeanDog, Inc.
White Building, Room 411
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
November 4, 2014

The idea of founding or co-founding a technology company is appealing to many (most?) electrical engineering and computer science students.  This leads to an almost endless series of questions.  Is your idea any good?  What is your idea worth?  Do you need funding?  How much?  Where might you get it?  What sort of legal structure should you consider for your business?  What about Intellectual Property protection?  How can you find co-founders?  How should you divide up the business equity? How can you find customers?  How can you gauge your progress?  What frameworks can guide you and your product development?  What sort of business are you trying to create?  What is motivating you to start this journey?  What are your paths to market?  What financial tools do you need?
What is Lean Startup?  What is Agile?

The sad reality is that many technology businesses fail.  How can you increase your odds of success?

We will attempt to provide guidance on these and many other aspects of technology-oriented businesses for engineers and developers.


Nick is a wayward electrical engineer, having spent his career in software.  He has worked in product development in a number of industries, including robotics, test and measurement, data acquisition, precision time keeping, and data backup.  He has co-founded, consulted for, and worked in a variety of technology companies.  Combining expertise in both real-time, embedded systems and scalable cloud computing, he is a jack of all trades (perhaps a master of none :-).  

His interest in continuous learning and product development led him to LeanDog, where he is a partner and leads LeanDog’s Studio.  The LeanDog Studio is a Design and Delivery practice, integrated comprehensive User Experience with Software Craftsmanship to build software products for clients ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.  The Studio applies Lean and Agile principles and practices to build innovative web (“cloud”), mobile, and connected devices (IoT) products.

LeanDog’s office is a 10,000 square foot, 122 year old ship floating in Lake Erie, in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

He earned his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

leandog.pdf6.75 MB