How Entrepreneurs Seek Funding and Get Patents

How Entrepreneurs Seek Funding: Joy Movie

...How Entrepreneurs Seek Funding and Get Patents
Real Joy Mangano | Image from ABC News

Joy is a movie with a star-studded cast featuring the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert de Niro about the true story of Joy Mangano.

Even as a child, Joy already enjoyed making things. As a child, Joy built small houses and things. She always wanted to invent things, but life got in the way. Joy grew up having to take care of her family financially. 

Eventually, Joy invented a self-wringing mop and got an angel investor to aid in funding the production for the mops. 

How Entrepreneurs Seek Investors

  • Own savings via bootstrapping
  • F&F – Family and Friends
  • Angel investors
  • Crowdfunding
  • Bank loans / mortgage
  • Venture capital

Leverage is integral to scale…this is why we need investors. When seeking investors, entrepreneurs shouldn’t also think about cash, but hopefully they could also provide expertise.

Investor and Entrepreneur: A Long Term Relationship

Investor and Entrepreneur are partners. The investor’s role is not only provide capital but are sought after for their strategic advice and connections. 

Investors desire to protect their capital and supervise how their money is spent. But it should not be at the expense of the entrepreneur’s vision of the company. 

Review the term sheet carefully. Review the terms. Negotiate on terms. Always read the fine print. You might be giving more than you think.

Applying for Patents 101

In the movie, Joy is an inventor wanting to commercialize. However It’s not enough to just invent something and sell it immediately. 

Obtaining a patent on your invention is the next step to secure exclusive rights. 

Before applying for a patent, assess the commercial potential of your invention. Obtaining a patent may cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. It takes a lot of time, effort and money. A patent is only valuable if there is commercial viability. Decide whether the patent is worth the outlay of funds. 

Among the first steps is to do a patent search to see if there is a similar invention. This is to avoid patent infringement suits. 

What happens if there is a similar invention? You can go back to the drawing board and  “invent around” the patented product. Or you can also just contact the patent owner and get a license to sell your product. 

Here’s how you can apply for a patent in the Philippines via IPOPhil.

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