It's an exciting time. New company, great prospects, money invested, lawyers signed off the paperwork. Money transferred. What now? Start adding value to the company. It's fun meeting people, promoting the product/service. More customers. More income. Break even. Sell the company, lots of money for everyone. That's the picture Business Angels buy into. But is it the reality? What's the impact if you are not focusing on the exit from day zero?
An 84 year-old designed a product to help stroke victims. Over 100,000 people could benefit in the UK. Their lives would be easier. Does anyone listen? No. The inventor is too old. He’s too “doddery”. He doesn’t express himself well. What could he possibly know?
That’s where the United Innovation Association UK can help. They asked one of their panel members (who include such luminaries as Graham Baker of “The Better Mousetrap”) to look at the idea and found that it was a viable business proposition. They sought investment and had success with the NHS and a family member and are working with grant providers such as the Technology Strategy Board. A company has been formed. There’s more work to be done but stroke victims around the world could benefit from the inspiration of an 84 year-old.
Just one of many stories from the UIAUK, a non-profit organisation and currently self-funded, which was set up by Simon Brown because he found there was little consolidated help for the lone inventor. The UIAUK provides help to inventors by ensuring the idea is viable before the costs of filing patents, finding funding and setting up a business to exploit the idea are incurred.
The remit of the UIAUK is much broader though, starting with educating 8 year olds about the benefits of innovation through to finding private investors with business experience to exploit ideas for the benefit of all. Soon there will be a new product to help investors find good innovative ideas on their website…