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These articles were prepared for the November 8, 2000 edition of
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Market Research Advice from Librarian
Can market research for a start-up’s business plan be
anything more than fuzzy pie-in-the sky statistics? After all, when
Princeton Forrestal Village was built, market research
that this area could support a center devoted to shops found on Fifth
Avenue, but experience proved otherwise. Now Forrestal Village is
a factory direct center.
Those in the research business insist that, if you know where to look,
you can make accurate predictions. Entrepreneurs can learn research
tips from a professional librarian at the New Jersey Entrepreneurs
Forum at McAteer’s Restaurant on Easton Avenue in Somerset on
November 9, at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $45. Call Jeff Milanette at
For the workshop entitled "Market Research for Your Successful
Business Plan," Milanette will set the stage, telling why market
research for a business plan is important and what to think about
when preparing the market section of a plan. "Every year we say
it’s important to have market research, but this will be the first
time in several years that we will address how to find the
Ka-Neng Au, a business librarian from Rutgers’ Dana Library
in Newark, will provide the nuts and bolts tips. A graduate of the
University of Guelph in Ontario, Class of 1984, he has an MLS from
Rutgers (973-353-5901, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Au cautions that the Dana Library is not set up to provide business
advice but to work with Rutgers students who are doing business plans
for course credit. "We do take referrals from the U.S. Small
Development Center here in Newark," he says. "Small businesses
who go there receive counseling, and when they are referred to us,
we have a sense that they have been walked through some steps."
Suppose someone who wants to open an accounting consulting office
asks what Fortune 1000 companies are in Princeton. "The question
sounds innocent enough," says Au. "The Fortune 1000 list is
easy enough to get, but it lists only the corporate headquarters.
You have to take the list and match it with the companies in your
Even then, you wouldn’t know whether services are done inhouse, Au
points out. Look at your trade group’s list to find out who else is
in your area already. "If there are already at least 400 CPAs,
why does your town need another CPA?"
"There are no canned answers. We usually want to sit down and
have a nice long chat," says Au, telling what happens when an
entrepreneur asks for business plan advice. "One question usually
leads to a dozen other questions. We pull out some books and point
them to some websites. Some information is available only in
The information may be free or may cost as much as several hundred
A summary of the information that is in Au’s head is contained on
this website (www.libraries.rutgers.edu). Click on reference shortcuts
on the left and go to the business section
The website has direct links to free and for-pay directories on the
‘Net and also to the directories that are only in hard copy but may
be available at local libraries.
Confronted with the inaccurate predictions for Princeton Forrestal
Village, Au lays out the research plan that could have produced a
more accurate forecast. Check the household income figures for the
adjacent counties to find that Princeton has high household income.
Then get the source book of retail sales, called Demographics USA,
and look at the actual expenditures in each county or each zip code.
These expenditures are broken down in six or seven major sectors.
"You can see how much is being spent in each county," says
Au. As the developers of Forrestal Village learned to their dismay,
Princeton people are not ostentatious spenders, and when they do shop
for upscale merchandise, they are likely to do their shopping in New
"But it will not be a foolproof answer," cautions Au,
you conduct a detailed survey of the residents in the area."
In spite of the help that he gives to entrepreneurs and students over
the years, Au says he almost never hears the results, yet he would
relish the feedback. "If they tell us we did a bad job or good
job, then we can improve our services," he says.
— Barbara Fox
Just as Central Jersey is a center for pharmaceutical
and biomedical research, so too it has a hefty sprinkling of
companies. Biomaterials — any materials used within or upon the
body — underlie many new and developing medical applications,
including stimulation of new tissue growth, delivery of drugs and
chemotherapy in targeted ways, and delivery of genetic material.
Although many of these applications are still in the research phase,
the projection for one biomaterials application, tissue engineering,
is that in 5 to 10 years it will be a $60 billion industry, says
Kantor, associate director of the New Jersey Center for
Scientists working in biomaterials science will speak at the fifth
New Jersey Symposium on Biomaterials Science, sponsored by the Center
for Biomaterials. The keynote speaker is Joseph Vacanti, of
Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, who will
discuss the materials needs of the tissue engineering field. The
runs from Thursday, November 9, at 9 a.m. to Friday, November 10,
at 3:45 p.m. For information, call 732-445-0488. To register, call
"Contact with the body determines whether something is a
explains Kantor. Anything implanted in body, such as a joint
a heart valve, or a shunt, is a biomaterial, as are materials placed
on the body, like a nicotine or other drug-carrying patches or even
a contact lens.
Historically, people have been using materials inside the body that
were never intended for biomedical purposes, like silicone, a
developed in the 1930s, or Dacron, a textile that has been used to
replace blood vessels. But things are changing. "What scientists
have been doing for last 30 years is to develop materials specifically
for biomedical applications, rather than using materials left over
from petroleum applications," explains Kantor.
This type of science is more feasible today, because of advances in
basic knowledge and technology. For example, far better methods of
imaging are available, allowing scientists to look at materials in
the laboratory and examine cells as they are grown on these materials.
This information is then used to develop better materials for specific
cell types. Materials that stimulate bone growth, for example, will
probably be different from those meant to stimulate the development
of blood vessels.
Most scientific and clinical work on biomaterials today is focused
on tissue engineering and drug delivery; a third area, the delivery
of genetic material, is being worked on in the laboratory only.
the body to replace tissue that has been lost due to illness or
"Rather than replacing the tissue with an inert material like
titanium," explains Kantor, "the goal is to use a material
that will stimulate natural tissue growth so that the body can repair
itself." Different bodily tissues will require different
biomaterials to stimulate regrowth. Biomaterials have been used
for tissue regrowth in bones and on skin. Research continues on the
regrowth of blood vessels, muscles, and cartilage, as well as the
particularly challenging areas of ligaments and nerves.
Integra Life Sciences on Morgan Lane is a leader in tissue
of the body in a targeted way by using biomaterials. The drugs are
implanted in a sponge or matrix material that degrades and releases
the drug over a period of time. One simple example is controlled
cold medications, where a capsule opens up within the body and the
little pellets inside dissolve at different times. A related
is a chemotherapy product on the market for brain tumors. Following
excision of a tumor, a disk of this material is left in the brain;
it releases the chemotherapeutic agent exactly where it is supposed
to act, thus avoiding many of the side effects that occur when
is administered systemically.
Therics at University Square is working on controlled release
in various genetic therapies. These materials exist in the laboratory
only, where scientists are reporting that they have bound DNA in
biomaterials and delivered it in animals to cells.
"the ability to tailor the properties of the materials is
For example, their stiffness, their elasticity, the temperature at
which they become flexible or solidify, and how they degrade in a
liquid environment can all be critical in different applications.
If a surgeon wants to repair a muscle defect caused by a trauma,
it with a gel-like material that will become stiffer when it reaches
body temperature may be quite effective. In his laboratory at Rutgers,
Joachim Kohn creates new polymer or plastic materials that can
be adjusted in various ways to make them suitable for different
Carole Kantor graduated from Barnard College in 1962 with a bachelor’s
in physics and received her masters in physics from Rutgers
She has been working with the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials since
1992 as both a medical research administrator and a medical science
writer. The Center is supported by Rutgers, UMDNJ, and the New Jersey
Institute of Technology. Another major supporter is the New Jersey
Commission on Science and Technology.
The Center works closely with industry on research and development
projects; it brings together faculty teams from the three public
universities, as well as from Princeton and Stevens Institute of
Although biomaterials research has many important medical
some companies appear slow to climb on the bandwagon. "Many drug
companies are still very much in the traditional means of delivering
drugs," says Kantor. "Only the ones with particularly forward
looking research and development people think it is worth working
with us at this stage."
— Michele Alperin
The New Jersey Business & Industry Association will
give goody bags of state-made items for "Made in New Jersey
on Thursday, November 9, in the lobbies at the State House. Among
the exhibits, starting at 8:30 a.m., will be china bathroom fixtures
from American Standard, artistic china from Boehm Porcelain, tire
inserts for military vehicles from Boehm Porcelain, and residential
furnaces and coals from the Trane Company — all of Trenton. For
information call 609-393-7707.
A gala for the Women’s Fund of New Jersey honors women
in the financial industry and proceeds will support women’s
The gala is scheduled for Forsgate Country Club on Thursday, November
9, at 6 p.m. Cost: $150. Call 908-851-7774.
The fund is a federation of organizations that support 17 worthy
from rape crisis counseling and breast cancer research to the League
of Women Voters. The fund raises and distributes money to the
through payroll deduction campaigns.
Among the honorees are Subha Barry and Marsha Jones
Merrill Lynch; Susanne Svizeny and Pam Lolley
presidents of First Union; Kathy Wielkopolski, CFO/COO of Gale
& Wentworth; Cheryl B. Ellis, executive vice president of
Fleet Bank; Cheryl Da Velga, a partner at KPMG: Lori Evangel
managing director of MBIA Insurance Corporation; Nanette O. Lee,
senior vice president and director of Summit Bank; Sharon Lamont,
president of the New Jersey Society of CPAs; Daria Piacitella,
managing director of PNC Bank; and Veronica T. Gilbert, senior
vice president of City National Bank.
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