17/01/07 John Lambert " The Best Way to Protect Your Rights"
21/2/07 Nic Morton "Funding Business, How West Yorkshire Ventures can help"
21/3/07 Michael Harrison "How to use your patent attorney"
18/4/07 Opening of "Innovation Showcase" LMU
23/5/07 Inventia demonstrating their "ideas 2 market" software
Valerie & Aldo from Inventia presented their new software I2M (Ideas to Market)
Valerie began by giving some background on the subject area and started with a quote from Alexander Graham Bell – “Preparation is the key to success.”
For anyone who has come up with an idea for a new product, the first step is to try to determine realistically what the potential of the new idea actually is. There are a number of steps to be taken & it’s important to do everything in the right order – Valerie pointed out that it’s like building a house – it will collapse if it’s not done properly, and in the right order (foundations first etc).
She suggested that a quick search on the ‘net is a helpful first move – get an idea of what’s out there and see who might be doing something similar.
Carry out a patent search – initially on Espacenet.
Carry out a feasibility study
Look at strengths & weaknesses – Can it be done?
Has it been done before?
Is this the best way to do it?
What’s the commercial benefit? – Should it be done?
Will it make money?
How will you manage it? – Work alone?
Work in partnership?
License the product?
The ability to sell the product is the proof of success. If you can’t sell it, why invent it?
Market Research – you need to understand what customers want and what they perhaps can’t do with the products currently on the market. If they don’t need your product, they won’t buy it.
Just because someone else is doing something in that particular area of the market doesn’t mean that you can be as successful as they are. They may have a large marketing budget.
Feasibility studies are important but they can be expensive and are often just a way for consultants to make money.
The I2M software offers a step-by-step approach in dealing with new products, and can be particularly helpful if applying for funding as it helps to get your thoughts structured. It gives exercises to do and questions to ask yourself in order to enable this process.
The Ideas Bank. On this part of the database you can place information relating to your proposed product which can be seen by organisations registered in the Ideas Bank who might be looking for new products to develop – funding organisations, venture capitalists etc.
One inventor got an offer of £250,000 equity after 3 weeks in the Ideas Bank. The investor would want % of the company for this (didn’t say what %)
Another inventor got a meeting with a potential investor within four days, which is unusual.
Anyone registering their proposals in the Ideas Bank can specify how much investment they’re looking for, or whether they’re hoping to licence etc
Valerie and Aldo are offering copies of their software to members of the Inventors Groups at a discount price - £100 instead of £250. A simplified version is n development and this will be available for £80, discounted to £60. A basic free version is available on the website of the Manchester Inventors Group.
They are in talks with North West business link and development agency to take it on.
They also do consultancy work and this software is the distillation of their knowledge & experience.