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Engineering Entrepreneurship

Opportunity Assessment

In the early stages of new product development you need to evaluate the prospects of your ideas to decide which ideas have the best potential for success. 

Without getting bogged down, it can sometimes be helpful to familiarize yourself with new product development guides and studies on new product successes and failures.  Use the library catalog and business article databases.

  Catalog at Falvey
Search the library catalog for "new product" and use the facets on the right to limit by publication year or maybe by online format.

  Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Search for practical advice and research on new products.

Scan the Environment

You need to do a thorought environmental scan to ascertain that your product idea is indeed novel or original and has utility.  As you do this take note of substitute products and close competitors as you will need to investigate these during the marketing plan stage.  You may need to search all public information sources including:

  • patents
  • scientific publications (See the Engineering Guide for specific databases)
  • catalogs (Google of course and specialized)
  • trade publications

USPTO Patent Search Instructions & search tools

Google Patents

  Lexis Nexis Academic
Browse the Source Directory and expand Intellectual Property to find files for searching US, UK, European, Japan and INPADOC(worldwide patents)

  European Patent Office (from EI Village)
This database provides a full-text patent and mosaic image search of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), European Patent Office, and Patent Abstracts of Japan.


  Global New Products Database (Mintel)
Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff.  Global New Products Database (GNPD) monitors new product activity in consumer packaged goods markets worldwide.

Market/Catagory Overview

Eventhough you may be bringing a revolutionary, catagory busting new product to market, you will still have to become familiar with existing related markets.  Things you need to know about the market or catagory include the following:

  • Market size
  • Market growth trends
  • Market drivers
  • Market distribution & supply channels
  • Competitive forces

Use the following market or industry report databases to find this information to position your product and assess its likelihood for success.

  IBIS World
U.S. and global industry market research reports.

BizMiner offers "Sole Proprietor and Start-Up" and "Industry Financial Reports" with average income statements, cash flows, balance sheet and financial ratios for benchmarking and projections for smaller private enterprises. Offers industry financial analysis benchmarks for over 5,000 lines of business and industry market trends on thousands more. It is searchable by keyword, SIC code or industry cluster.

  Gartner Group Intraweb
Gartner is a leading information technology research provider. Gartner offers market statistics and forecasts for hardware, software, communications, IT services and semiconductors. Additionally there are reports and case studies by IT topic and by industry. Subscription courtesy of Villanova UNIT. Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff.

  Sports Business Research Network
Statistics, articles and reports on sporting goods, participation, fans and facilities.

  Euromonitor (Passport)
Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff. Use for research or private study for academic purposes only.  This resource is a database of demographic, economic, lifestyle, and consumer market information for over 350 markets and 207 countries. Statistics cover consumer lifestyles, retailing, and consumer market sizes and forecasts. The data includes 6-year historic market size data for more than 330 consumer products in 52 countries, plus 5-year forecasts. Lifestyle indicators for 71 countries, lifestyle reports for 65 countries, and country profiles for 250 countries are also included.

  NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's, Capital IQ)
Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage is a comprehensive, professional source of proprietary analysis on industry trends, corporate activities, and investments. For non-business students, the service includes a Financial Education section with tools for understanding personal finance.

Use the Onesource module to search for industries

  Mintel Reports
Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff.  Mintel's published market research has been helping leading businesses achieve their goals for over 30 years. As a globally recognised market analyst, Mintel produces hundreds of reports into European, UK-specific and US consumer markets every year. Each report that Mintel publishes provides a unique overview of a market's dynamics and prospects, giving you the knowledge to devise informed and profitable marketing strategy.  DO NOT USE IE6

Provides marketing reports for many industries and demographic reports on a variety of age groups. Documents are formatted as Adobe Acrobat or PowerPoint files.  Licensed for academic uses only.  May not be used for commercial uses.

lhauck Linda Hauck
Business Librarian
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 222

afry Alfred Fry
Science and Engineering Librarian
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 224


Last Modified: Friday, June 24th, 2016