You’ve only got one chance to make the right impression. Present the right story, and you’re potential licensing partner will be interested. Show them the wrong one, and they’ll walk away.
The licensing presentation makes the case for why a company should license your intellectual property. The secret is to create a compelling presentation to justify the risk, money and time developing and commercializing your IP.
To help you make the best impression, here’s a list of 6 key points to creating and delivering a successful licensing presentation:
1. Do Your Homework: Make sure you’re providing the right kind of information about your IP. Even if your IP is very technical, don’t make your presentation “tech heavy”. Remember, you will most likely be meeting with marketing, sales and product development folks. Before each presentation, I do some quick research about the company and use this information to support why and how the IP fits their business model. You can use your research to ask some questions before starting the presentation to see if anything has changed, and if so, then adjust your presentation based on that updated information.
2. Show Them the Money: In almost every presentation I’ve made, one of the first questions asked is “how does the IP make money?” When it comes to selling the license, nothing sells the deal like numbers promising future success. Key numbers to include are the size of the market, potential sales, and profit margins. Numbers paint a much more compelling picture than words about the market potential of your IP. Show numbers early and often – and be ready to prove their validity. I like to use graphs to show the numbers. It’s easier to grasp and show then a bunch of numbers on a spreadsheet. One last critical point. Don’t hype the numbers. This is a mistake many IP owners make. Nothing puts off a potential licensing partner faster than a lot of hot air hype.
3. Why is Your IP Valuable: Licensing partners want to know why customers would buy your IP. What problem does your IP solve or benefit it provides – who is buying the product/service or technology and why. Do the products satisfy wants, needs or desires (“needs” command a higher price and profit – but also higher competition). Is it faster, cheaper or better? Does it revolutionize an industry, solve a big problem or make life more convenient? Remember, the number one key issue for a potential licensing partner is the value of your IP. If it doesn’t work, it’s not valuable. The real value of your IP is the way a licensing partner can use it to increase revenues, cut costs, or gain a competitive advantage.
4. Focus on What Matters: Don’t veer off on the road of irrelevancy and into blind alleys of pointlessness. Spending time explaining it took six months to develop the prototype is a waste of time. Focus on what is relevant in your licensing presentation. “Our IP was featured in Gadget Magazine’s 100 Coolest Things of the Year special.” This is worth focusing on because it validates customer interest in the products or services created from your IP. Remember to also show how your IP fits with the licensees business. If they produce mass market products, and your IP is a niche product, it’s not going to fit their business model. By staying laser-focused on the benefits of licensing your IP, you can lead the potential licensee down the road of wanting to license your IP.
5. Make it Logical: Deliver the presentation in a logical sequence, with each slide or point building upon earlier ones. I’ve met with inventors who immediately start telling me how much their invention will make before describing their invention. Don’t start talking about projected sales and profit before explaining the IP. If the licensee doesn’t know how or what your IP does, your numbers won’t make sense, plus you’ll wind up explaining them again once they understand your IP.
6. Keep it Short: You’re not telling your life story. Don’t waste time telling the history of how you developed your IP. Your licensing partner is only interested in knowing if your IP works, and that their risk in bringing it into the market is lower than the revenues it will generate. If you’re using power point, keep it to 8 – 10 slides. I try to keep my presentations to 20 minutes or less. Any more, and you’ll lose people’s attention. Use pictures to show and tell your IP story. Remember, potential licensing partners are running a business. Their time is valuable and unless you get right to the point, they’ll quickly lose interest.
The goal of your presentation is to get a “yes we’re interested” answer. Keep your presentation concise and tell the right story. It must engage your potential licensing partner and prove the value your IP brings to their business. Be energetic and deliver your presentation with passion. Do your homework, and make sure your IP fits the licensees business. Most important, make sure you detail how and why they’ll make money with your IP.
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.