Just a couple of years after they launched their new business, Mukund Kavia and Kusum Kavia could see the end coming.
Combustion Associates, Incorporated (CAI), a minority business enterprise, had opened its doors as an engineering consulting firm in Southern California in 1989. Their timing could not have been better. California Air Quality Management Districts had just passed more demanding air quality regulations. Commercial boilers of a certain size — those used to provide heat and hot water in schools, hospitals, and hotels, for example — needed to be upgraded to meet the new standards. The managers of such operations did not typically employ experts on boiler emissions. They needed help. They needed someone like Mr. Kavia.
As a result of its fortuitous timing, CAI got off to a fast start. Mr. Kavia was a Kenyan of Indian descent, and he had been educated in the United States and the United Kingdom in the field of mechanical engineering. In starting CAI, he had found a satisfying way to put his skills to work and to earn a living as an entrepreneur.
There are dozens of ways to increase profits. You can cut costs, you can negotiate more aggressively, you can raise price. Perhaps, however, you want profits plus something more profound.
Some companies excel at today’s business. Those companies keep the wheels of the economy turning. Other companies innovate. These are the companies that build a better economy for tomorrow and raise living standards for all.
The largest companies have mammoth resources at their disposal for innovation. And so it is, and so it should be, that the most storied innovators are always the underdogs — those working in the garage.
Your garage may be lonely, but you do not work alone. America stands behind its minority business enterprises and salutes its innovators. In particular, America honors its enterprising leaders of this generation and of generations past for their historic and continuing contribution to the America we take pride in today. To sustain its greatness, America must continue to foster innovation domestically, attract the most talented and energetic business leaders from around the world and put their skills to work in this nation.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) unveiled a new web-based intellectual property (IP) Awareness Assessment Tool designed to help manufacturers, businesses, entrepreneurs and independent inventors easily assess their knowledge of intellectual property (IP).