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Old 05-30-2007, 10:19 AM
 
2,071 posts, read 4,555,918 times
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I have a business plan, for what I think is a billion-dollar venture related to the Automotive Industry. I was wondering if something like this can be packaged and sold or presented to venture capitalists or corporations? I have no interest in being involved all of the major aspects (funding, marketing, etc.) of getting this product into the marketplace due to my limited business background. I would prefer to just sell the concept and let corporations that specialize in building empires handle it from there.

Any insight or information would be appreciated.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,952 posts, read 12,487,373 times
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If you believe you have a viable product/solution and you have developed a solid business plan, then you will want to market that to VCs. If you believe it is something that warrants a patent, then you will want to do that before you do anything else.

I have worked with Fortune 500 companies who have "borrowed" ideas from small business owners and the like - had they patented their process/creation beforehand, they would have done very well as opposed to having their hard work and ideas taken from them. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:26 PM
 
Location: orlando, fl
453 posts, read 1,991,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhlcomp View Post
If you believe you have a viable product/solution and you have developed a solid business plan, then you will want to market that to VCs. If you believe it is something that warrants a patent, then you will want to do that before you do anything else.

I have worked with Fortune 500 companies who have "borrowed" ideas from small business owners and the like - had they patented their process/creation beforehand, they would have done very well as opposed to having their hard work and ideas taken from them. Good luck to you.
i agree. if the idea is patentable, then you definitely need to. then you can charge companies to use your patent. otherwise, they will "borrow" the idea and you will never see a dime for your innovation.
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 688,149 times
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Keep in mind that even if you patent the idea, if a large corporation likes it, they can simply find a way to improve slightly on the idea, thereby creating a new product that would not be subject to your patent protection, and market it as their own, leaving you in the cold.

Also, if you have never brought the product or service to market and made a profit it will be considerably harder to get anyone to pay much at all for it because it is untested.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:31 PM
 
2,071 posts, read 4,555,918 times
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It sounds like presenting this to Venture Capitalists is the way to go with this then. I'll research this later, but for now could someone give me some insight on how presenting an idea to Venture Capitalists works. What type products/services are they interested in, what is the initial cost in presenting an idea to VC's, etc.

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:54 PM
 
11,281 posts, read 46,158,086 times
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At this point, all you've got is an idea (or concept) for which you have no proof of concept, nor a protected position.

From the sounds of your OP, you'd like to think it's worth a lot of money right now, and without any further effort upon your part except to sell the idea and walk away with all the blue sky money.

IMO, nothing's further from the truth.

When I was in the automotive business, I had proposals dropped off all the time ... "the chance of a lifetime to be a LP in this fabulous business/service/product". Some of the GP's even owned a "revolutionary" patent for a device that was going to change the automotive industry as we know it. Many had high priced lawyers involved with incredibly good sounding presentations. We were all going to get rich! All it needed was my little investment and automotive business expertise to turn the idea into millions!

Out of 20-odd proposals I was invited to participate in, not one had any viable business demonstrated. Not one ever came to the marketplace, at any scale. I figured if these schemers were coming to me, they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel for funds and business knowledge, too. People with a lot more money than I and business smarts had already passed up on the deals. Not one of these schemes ever made a penny of profit, and most never got past the proposal stage (where the GP's could reap a handsome salary and cushy operations base for awhile before it went bankrupt).

What's scary about your attempt to sell this idea at this stage is that you want all the blue sky without any effort upon your part to prove that the idea/business model can/might/could work. It's simply not going to wash at this stage. I don't know of any VC that's going to chase a totally unproven idea from a concept when the inventor won't even bother to prove out what he's got ... and I know people who are VC's with ready access to substantial funds and are willing to dream big. But they'll want to buy an existing business for an ownership position for capital to help the business grow.

You'll simply have to have more to offer than this to realize any big bucks from your idea.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:38 AM
 
1 posts, read 12,509 times
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Default Secondary Question to "Can I Sell A Multi-Million Dollar Idea or Concept?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhlcomp View Post
If you believe you have a viable product/solution and you have developed a solid business plan, then you will want to market that to VCs. If you believe it is something that warrants a patent, then you will want to do that before you do anything else.

I have worked with Fortune 500 companies who have "borrowed" ideas from small business owners and the like - had they patented their process/creation beforehand, they would have done very well as opposed to having their hard work and ideas taken from them. Good luck to you.
FOLLOW-UP QUESTION

Are these same companies likely to "borrow" ideas if that same concept were to be at the patent pending stage of the application process with the USPTO?

I have a product/concept idea that I have worked on for some time now and am in the middle of finishing up my patent application with my patent attorney right now. However, for protection, we filed a provisional patent application last summer in an effort to be able to further my research on the marketability of my product/concept without having to go through the much greater expense of filing the standard patent application without having more research data available to evaluate the viability of my idea first.

With that, my marketing company has done extensive studies on the viability of this particular idea which in the process has gotten extremely favorable results. All data accumulated does suggest that this idea would have value.

I feel I've done everything possible to gage results and profitability and am of the firm believe that this concept will work and become widely accepted and used by both large and small companies.

My question is how safe am I to present my concept to prospective companies that I have targeted? Will companies still more often than not look for ways to steal the concept or are they more likely to work with me since patent applications have been filed and I do sit on a legitimate patent pending? My concept also has a very solid and catchy name which I have trademarked recently (that application was filed last summer and just issued as an official trademark a few weeks ago).

Any advice or insights would be really appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:22 AM
 
11,281 posts, read 46,158,086 times
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selectmarketing ... your situation is entirely different from the OP's.

You have embarked upon the path to protect your intellectual property, and have actually engaged in market research.

Now's the time to approach those companies where your idea/product may have relevance and try to hook up with them. Your counsel will probably require some sort of signed confidentiality arrangement with those companies before you can enter into any discussion with them or reveal matters of substance.

Is this level of protection absolute? Not in the real world. Someone may see your idea and take it a step apart, away, or further than you've envisioned into another dimension. Possibly leaving you with very little, if any, value for your work.

It's a tricky path from concept to viable sales/product. Do everything you can to have something brought to market that an investor/company can buy into, rather than just a concept that sounds good. Even a small scale, prototyped or limited production has a lot more value than only a good concept.

I've seen patented ideas that had no real world practicality or worth, too. You must have more than a better mousetrap to have a viable product that will generate sales in excess of development and marketing costs.

Keep in mind that defending your rights against predation may be very expensive. I've seen ideas "stolen" that took many years and billable hours to finally prevail against the company that took the idea and made it profitable. So, choose your target companies very carefully.
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,952 posts, read 12,487,373 times
Reputation: 2094
Quote:
Originally Posted by selectmarketing View Post
FOLLOW-UP QUESTION

Are these same companies likely to "borrow" ideas if that same concept were to be at the patent pending stage of the application process with the USPTO?


I have a product/concept idea that I have worked on for some time now and am in the middle of finishing up my patent application with my patent attorney right now. However, for protection, we filed a provisional patent application last summer in an effort to be able to further my research on the marketability of my product/concept without having to go through the much greater expense of filing the standard patent application without having more research data available to evaluate the viability of my idea first.

With that, my marketing company has done extensive studies on the viability of this particular idea which in the process has gotten extremely favorable results. All data accumulated does suggest that this idea would have value.

I feel I've done everything possible to gage results and profitability and am of the firm believe that this concept will work and become widely accepted and used by both large and small companies.

My question is how safe am I to present my concept to prospective companies that I have targeted? Will companies still more often than not look for ways to steal the concept or are they more likely to work with me since patent applications have been filed and I do sit on a legitimate patent pending? My concept also has a very solid and catchy name which I have trademarked recently (that application was filed last summer and just issued as an official trademark a few weeks ago).

Any advice or insights would be really appreciated. Thank you!

They could try or use a slightly different process and succeed. However, everything is time stamped as it gets into the patent office.

You do no want to discuss your "invention" with anyone (even attorney's are suspect) until you have something back from the patent office. Yes, trademarks take a while.
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:03 PM
 
1 posts, read 12,230 times
Reputation: 10
I am a ex-pro athlete of twenty years. Durring that time invented and patented a number of fitness and health related products. All my money has went into Patents and molds/manufacturing.That was the fun part. Now comes the work! Bringing these viable to market.Advice/Help welcomed.
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