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July 5, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Helping Inventors Find Funding: The Dangers of Crowdfunding and a Smarter Alternative

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And that's a great transition to what I want to ask about next, because it's good you're talking about inventors saving money and doing a prototype and formally, because one of their biggest obstacles for inventors is finding the funding. Like at the beginning, a lot of them are putting in the time; they're getting the knowledge; they're doing the research, but it's hard if they can't get past the funding obstacle. So tell me a little bit about your experience in helping with that, and how can inventors—

It's not as much about finding the funding. It's about understanding funding options, you know? All good inventors that, you know, want to go out the door and say, “Oh, I'm gonna do, you know, a Kickstarter campaign.” It's like, no, no, probably not. Those are nasty animals. And well, inventors have been successful. I've seen inventors who've raised a half a million dollars, and been bankrupt in a week, because they didn't understand the financial consequences of a successful campaign. And that can, you know, that's devastating when you go into it. You know, there's a lot of those campaigns that are successful, but it's the third or fourth one that they've done. And they've learned the hard lessons, and canceled arrays before it finalized and regrouped and started over. So the crowdfunding campaigns are really tough.

For you know, you've got to be patent pending before you can do that. You've got to have the sexy prototype before you can do that. Well, for goodness sakes, before you spend all that money and time and heartache on all of that stuff, go to a professional trade show. Professional trade show, you need a proof of concept prototype and patent pending status. You can do that with a provisional, and then maybe rapid prototype, and go, and see what kind of feedback you get from professionals, not from one of the inventor shows. That is a feeding frenzy, and the inventor is the main course, alright? They need to be going to the show that is in their industry. I've been to the national asphalt show. That was a ton of fun, very small show. But the gentleman who was going, the inventor who was going, had a brilliant machine and they wanted to buy it right off the floor.

So you pick your show, that is for your industry. Now we go to the national hardware show—that covers the most industries. And it says hardware, but that's kind of a misnomer. It's anything and everything that you would think of that would be in your Home Depot, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, those big box stores, the big ace chains,True Value people are there. People come shopping for products they want to license in our space. So if you've got any listeners out there and they want to go to the show in January, they should give me a call. We are putting the team together now. It costs a lot less to go with us and you have staff who've got your back and other inventors. It's a great team experience. So when you're thinking about, you know, those early phases of money, one of the things that irritates me the most is when an inventor gets the advice to do a business plan. No, you don't have a business yet. Get a search done first. You know, know whether or not you've got something to work with. There will come a time for a business plan if you go into startup mode. But if you want to do licensing, you may not ever need that big business plan, because you are an LLC most likely, and you're just getting royalty checks.



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