I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.
I have worked for a couple different startup companies. Having gone through that experience, I have some ideas on what they should focus on. If you’re thinking of forming a new business, here are some tips.
- Get your IP squared away. File provisional patent applications and keep track of when a year has passed. You have 1 year after filing a provisional application to file the utility application that will be examined by the patent office. You’re more attractive to investors when you have IP.
- Join associations related to your field. Investors tend to be members of these groups, too. For instance, I’m a member of the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE). SDEE offers pitch workshops, IP seminars, and monthly happy hours, all meant to help its members learn and connect.
- Don’t spend money when you don’t have to. I once worked at a small company who spent money on outfitting the building with TV monitors. The monitors were never used. Not once! I’m not sure what was supposed to be shown on them anyway.
- Keep in touch with associates from previous jobs. They may be your first customers. They at least can point you in the direction of potential customers. In other words, try not to burn any bridges. Another thing: don’t just contact former coworkers when you want something from them. Shoot them an email every now and then to say hello, so when it’s time to ask for something, they don’t think that you’re using them.
- When hiring, bring on people who are as passionate about your company as you are. If you can sell employees on the company, chances are you can sell investors on it, too.
- Be willing to give. Oftentimes, we get caught up in what we want. But we must be willing to give. I offer a monthly newsletter with information for people interested in patents and writing, since I’m interested in patents and writing. The newsletter is to show people I know what I’m talking about, to provide useful information to them, and to keep my name in their heads. You reap what you sow.