Once you know where you will fundraise, the next step is NOT campaign creation. Instead, you need to start the process of planning your campaign. Planning and executing a crowd-funding campaign takes months, not days.Read More
We have written here extensively about how startups and early-stage businesses face an overwhelming number of tasks to get the ball rolling. The bad news is that those tasks do not go away once your company graduates to becoming a small or medium sized business (SMB).Read More
In the summer of 2012, I was listening to a webinar on crowdfunding presented by then 85 Broads, now Ellevate.com. The presenter, Candace Klein, was one of the driving forces behind the Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act passed in April of the same year. Of course, my first concern was for the impact on intellectual property when disclosing a full business plan and product information online.Read More
In late May, I presented on a crowdfunding panel at the Montreal Chapter of the Licensing Executive Society (LES). My contribution was around intellectual property (IP) and crowdfunding, lessons learned from two Arizona based campaigns, and top three tips for fundraising. We will discuss these topics in four blog posts. As always, the slides are available on slideshare here.Read More
If a potential investor looked at your company today, what value would you place on the company? How would the investor value the company? These are both interesting questions to ask yourself and ones that you need to have answers for to be ready.Read More
Most businesses start with a single great idea. If you've had a brainstorm that seems like it might be a viable business opportunity, you are probably eager to get moving. As exciting as the opportunity seems, you might be overwhelmed by planning process. There are a few things that you can do to avoid overwhelming startup issues and make sure that your business starts off on the right foot.Read More
As we have written about before, for many businesses, especially startups, intellectual property (IP) is their most valuable asset. If your company has created a unique product, technology, or service, protecting the intellectual property you have developed is paramount to your success. Both the company's founders and investors must ensure all IP is first identified and then protected through agreements and registration, while also avoiding infringing on the intellectual property of third parties.Read More
If you've just opened a new business, this question perhaps hasn't crossed your mind yet: Is IP part of your business's foundation? In order to answer, you might wish to understand your intellectual property (IP) and how it factors into making any money. But before you do that, statistics tell us you probably aren't paying enough attention to how important your IP is. Some small businesses do not fully comprehend the importance of what IP does for them and that is the crucial mistake they are making.Read More
During our years of working with entrepreneurs, the idea of a Traklight stamp or score has been raised numerous times. While the reports are informative with detailed information on next steps, we all like a quick, single measure that tells us how we're doing. Since we relaunched the platform last spring, we have been working hard to create an easy-to-read visual representation of your business' planning and preparedness, as well as helping to lay out a road map to future success. We're proud to say that the Risk Chart now provides that road map, and we leveraged that to create the Traklight Assessment Grade (TAG).Read More
Women make up 82 percent of network marketers due to their many awesome abilities. Those amazing capabilities, however, also put women at risk of being ripped off. Let’s say a woman has created a jammin’ anti-aging skin cream with a proprietary blend of herbs. She tests in on herself for two years and then waits another year to see if any side effects happen. She has pictures of her progress and vines of people congratulating her. She contacted Washington, D.C. for a trademark on her product which she calls WhatAge? A trademark is an intangible asset; it isn't physical meaning it can't be touched, but it protects which makes it an asset.Read More
As a startup, you may have limited resources; if you do not, great for you! However, it does not change the approach to your startup from the beginning. Planning and being methodical about your first business steps may seem counterintuitive to what you hear about the startup world. Often the end goal for startups is to exit for the most money possible and there is a sense that it is a rush to the end. While time is money, you cannot inexpensively undo mistakes that are made at the outset.Read More
How to safeguard your ideas or inventions is an important concern for many first time inventors or entrepreneurs. A small business, especially one that is looking to grow, has a lot to consider as they move through the winding roads of business success. Often times, small business owners are concerned about whether or not their innovation or IP can be lost.
While the number of ideas that are legitimately stolen is relatively low, it isn’t an unheard of scenario considering IP theft in the US tops $250 billion annually. Each year, hundreds of cases regarding patent, copyright or trademark infringement are heard in US courts. With this in mind, many business owners might wonder what they can do to protect themselves, especially when a small business is in a delicate growth phrase. We’ve collected three easy ways to safeguard a small business’ innovation.Read More
It’s a common belief that small businesses are the main driver of the US economy. This is because their ability to create new jobs is greater than that of middle and large-sized companies. So what is really keeping them from protecting their intellectual property? While the federal government has implemented a number of measures to assist aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business, it hasn’t really done much to educate them on the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection or the value of intangible assets. Below are a few IP-related challenges that US small businesses face today.Read More
Intellectual property (IP) theft is a rampant issue that affects all companies conducting business overseas. Although you can obtain IP protection outside the US, business owners should always be on the lookout to ensure no one is using their brands or products without proper permission. Infringers often take advantage of the vulnerability and lack of emphasis on IP protection by US startups to make money illegally. This article addresses a question many business owners ask when dealing with IP theft or infringement: "What should I do if my IP is stolen?"Read More
As we start 2015, this the final of three posts (read Part 2 here) on the worst mistakes I have seen made in 2014. Of course there is the usual tie to intellectual property (IP) and money or valuation of the venture.
Does this sound familiar: "Get that minimum viable product out there in the hands of customers! Hurry up and finish that prototype! Get that crowdfunding campaign up!" Speed to market is often heralded as paramount. However, showing too much about how your product works in a public way can drastically impact your ability to patent. In turn, it could become an IP mistake you wish you wouldn't have made.Read More
This is the second of three posts (read Part 1 here) on the Worst IP Mistakes made in 2014 by some companies we spoke with last year.
I have written on this before but multiple questions about using open source code keep coming up with clients and in presentation question and answer. A couple of concepts are involved but at the root is copyright and the related licensing terms and conditions.Read More