ANN ARBOR — Several executives with long experience in maximizing the value of intellectual property have formed Apogee Insights Group, an intellectual property advisory firm.

The group has been formed by seasoned business executives to partner with clients in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to identify critical challenges and optimize and address high-value opportunities.

“Our sweet spot is developing strategies for existing or emerging intellectual property to benefit clients,” said Dan Arbour, a longtime senior sales and management executive at ProQuest, Xanadu and National Archive Publishing Co. “Our role is to help existing and emerging companies recognize their IP assets and leverage them to build their trajectory to success.”

Besides Arbour, other partners in Apogee are Dennis Stepaniak, CFO and COO of various publishing companies including Gale Cengage Learning; Gary Wesley, a business development and technology executive who was with Sony Electronic Publishing for many years; Scott Smith, former Thomson Gale publishing executive; and Larry T. Eiler, co-founder of Eiler Communications and known for his marketing and public relations work across the country with technology, healthcare and publishing companies.

Michael Splinter, President and CEO of Applied Dynamic, a major chip company, recently outlined the need for the intellectual property market situation that Apogee Insights is addressing.  In a CNN interview he said, “Unless your company is based on the power of intellectual property you run the real risk of being commoditized.”

Arbour explained that “we are serving companies that need to maximize the use of their valuable intellectual property to make a difference in how they conduct business… capitalizing on what they already have but are not using effectively, and how to use their assets to develop new capabilities and opportunities.”

“This speaks to Apogee Insights’ focus, helping companies improve their short and long-term financial performance, and the value of their enterprise, by maximizing their IP assets and the talent of their people,” Stepaniak added.  “What we bring to the relationship is an objective business perspective, personalized service, a sense of urgency and a broad network of relevant resources and relationships to get the job done.”

“We have combined experience of more than 170 years in working with technology, publishing and healthcare companies around the country,” Eiler said.  “We have dealt with revitalizing mature products in dwindling markets, as well as new technologies and new products that have taken advantage of adjacent and emerging markets.  This transition-based experience puts us in a commanding position to provide independent counsel that complements a company’s internal capabilities,” he added.  “A collective look at new opportunities and value assessment helps us to strategically position firms into new products and markets.”

Arbour initiated formation of the new firm “to meet the critical need Michigan has to bolster the importance and awareness of intellectual property. Apogee’s focus is on the benefits that accrue through effective use of IP.”

Apogee offers comparison to best industry practices for an organization’s intellectual capital control as well as critical negotiation strategies with current intellectual capital providers, Arbour said.  “Apogee can recommend alternative acquisition strategies, including new resourcing models, develop creative business models that monetize current underperforming properties, and enhance distribution strategies to maximize potential value in new and adjacent markets. Strategies are focused on ensuring that those investment decisions are based on the critical success factors required for ongoing sustainability in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, providing clients with a complete roadmap for success.”


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