I keep having these brilliant ideas for new inventions that I am sure no one in the history of the world has had before (right…) but taking the plunge to bring an idea to product is a scary one if you have financial commitments such as a family or a debt.
Here is some help:
Is Being an Innovator-Entrepreneur Your Cup of Tea? is the first webinar in a 7 part series on entrepreneurship and how to be successful at it. The live webinar was held at the beginning of April but the next six are still to come:
1) Is being an Innovator-Entrepreneur my cup of tea?
Meet, talk, and learn from the many successful chemical entrepreneurs. It takes more than an innovation to make a successful business – consider what skills and support (family, friends) system you may need.
2) Evaluating your idea and your goals
This is where it starts and a lot of thought should go in to generating the best idea. You could use friends and instructors to have a free-flowing discussion. This meeting should generate several ideas which you could cluster and further refine.
3) Conduct Market Research and Patentability Opinion
This step requires searching patent and market databases. The patent searches are conducted with two separate goals. One is to do a patentability assessment and the second is a ‘freedom to operate’ assessment. The market research is to get as much detailed and specific information as possible.
4) Perform Feasibility Analysis and Pick your Industry
This step is a check to insure that the business you are proposing is sound. The four major feasibility analysis are: technical, financial, organizational and market. Also, you need to assess the industry you are preparing to enter.
5) Learn How to Sell
If you build it, will they come? An idea/product/service is only worth as much others are willing to pay. It is important to learn the different strategies to sell to scientists vs. non-scientists (customers, financiers, elected officials, etc.). Get to know how much they are willing to pay for your widgets.
6) Write Your Business Plan
Now is the time after passing all of the above tests to write your plan. The plan is intended for two main audiences: investors and your company employees. The plan should explain all of the fundamentals of your business from day to day operations to long term strategies for sustainability.
7) Raising Money and Finding the Right People
This is a very difficult step for a small start-up, since your company on paper may not be of a high value to investors. Governmental agencies are a great source, but they require time to get money. Also know that ‘good money’ is hard to get but is more valuable than ‘fools money’. Your company will also need experienced business personnel to run your business. Where to find them and how to pay them are key stumbling blocks. Forming a strong network is extremely important. Selecting the right Angels or VCs will be critical to help you financially and to connect you with key contacts.
Hmmm…got a better mousetrap?
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