Entrepreneurs need to be prepared in pitching their companies to a venture capitalist by anticipating the questions they will receive. The failure to have thoughtful and reasonable answers to VC questions will decrease the likelihood of your company getting funded.
If you are a startup business or operating business seeking funding, intellectual property will be a key to your success. Here are 4 key question that investors will pay particular to attention to your answers:
- What key intellectual property does the company have (patents, patents pending, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, domain names)?
- What comfort do you have that the company’s intellectual property does not violate the rights of a third party?
- How was the company’s intellectual property developed?
- Would any prior employers of a team member have a potential claim to the company’s intellectual property?
Your intellectual property (IP) is an intangible asset your business develops over time and is the secret to driving wealth creation. Unlike hard/tangible assets, such as machinery and equipment, which depreciate over time, your intellectual assets appreciate over time as you invest more into their development.
IP extends into many formats including customer information, software source code, business models, databases, operations manuals, professional expertise and much more. It’s these additional parts of the IP that are often overlooked, and could be some of the most valuable.
Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.