In order to take (what you think is) a stellar idea from concept to market, you need to create a prototype, do market research, secure your intellectual property rights and more. Those steps take funding, so where do you start?
Below are just a few ideas for funding your invention with the goal of bringing it to the marketplace:
- Personal funds. Often, the simplest and quickest way to fund your invention is to dip into your discretionary income, ask family or to take out a personal loan.
- Crowdfunding. Beyond asking immediate family and close friends for funds, you can branch out within your personal and community network by setting up a crowdfunding campaign. Be sure to show the value of your idea without giving away so much information that it could impact your intellectual property rights down the road.
- Small business loan. If you are ready to build a business around your idea, it might make sense to establish a business entity and apply for small business loans from the SBA or local banks and credit unions. A skilled business attorney can walk you through the process of starting a business.
- Investors. If you have a well-formulated idea, backed by some promising initial market research, seeking investors might make more sense. A good place to start your search for investors is a local inventors club or networking group. Ask for advice and referrals from other inventors who have been down the road before you.
- Contests. Several companies and universities sponsor invention contests in an effort to generate new ideas that meet a particular need. Start with this list of current invention contests to see if your invention meets any of the criteria.
- Grants. Government and public entities sometimes offer grants to inventors who are working to create innovative products that meet a public need. For example, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program encourages small businesses to apply for funding from federal agencies.
To learn more about developing and protecting your inventions and business ideas, contact EmergeCounsel. We provide legal counsel to small and emerging business owners.