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- Subject: [Discuss] Startup?
- From: johnhall2.0 at gmail.com (John Hall)
- Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2015 13:24:55 -0500
- In-reply-to: <BN3PR0401MB1204CB5EA615998B08EC7571DC130@BN3PR0401MB1204.namprd04.prod.outlook.com>
- References: <CACKDcQjj75TFgQhc-_Fm7CGgsuNkEK+OzcZkr+a5nPOVPu3NbQ@mail.gmail.com> <BN3PR0401MB1204CB5EA615998B08EC7571DC130@BN3PR0401MB1204.namprd04.prod.outlook.com>
There are accelerators like mass challenge <http://masschallenge.org/> , incubators and sandboxes. Call them and go to their meetings. I found this site "angel list" that looks promising. https://angel.co/incubators In general to get started you need to be able to explain what your business does, who it's customers are and so forth from a high level. You can discuss that without going into the technical details that would risk patent applications. *Some advise on where that line is would be very useful to anyone with an idea.* I struggle to understand the balance between openness and guarding intellectual property. If you are too concerned about NDA and non-disclosure then you are going to limit your exposure. At what point do you need a minimal working prototypes for: a pitch? (as i see it you don't) a business plan? (something - partially working - a mock up) a patent? ( a uniquely functioning piece limited in scope compared to what is required to start production or serving customers) doing business? ( full minimum functionality) By keeping something under wraps aren't you limiting the "prior art" protection that would prevent someone else from patenting the idea? If you want to be based on an open source patent sharing / no software patents sort of community concept then the work needed to block others from patenting a concept a lot less than applying for the patent and then opening it up for innovation? Building the business and developing the software and hardware is also important and has value. Does every startup idea need to be patent centric? There are also trademark, copyright and trade secret laws that can protect intellectual property but whats more if what you are doing is new and potentially risky there may be a rich set of patents surrounding an initial idea. If the initial concept itself could lead to a patent garden rather than a single patent on "the big concept". In general isn't that the order of business ? What about all the expenses for administration and legal services ? Isn't this part of why you'd seek an "angel investor"? Otherwise you'd best be involved in an idea that is the result of institutionally sponsored research. There is a type of start up, and a catchy name for it I can't remember where the people working for it are all keeping their day-jobs and volunteering time for equity. Does anyone know how this works or is anyone involved? On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 12:48 PM, Edward Ned Harvey (blu) <blu at nedharvey.com> wrote: > > From: Discuss [mailto:discuss-bounces+blu=nedharvey.com at blu.org] On > > Behalf Of Steven Santos > > > > Have any of you ever pitched a big idea to an angle investor? > > > > Any advice for pitching such a big idea? > > > > Where do you find an angel investor for such a thing? > > This is something I now have a lot of experience with. My advice would be > first of all, be careful what you say to anybody - The biggest surprise > that hit me out of *everything* was the patent process. At some point, > you're going to need to patent stuff, and anything you disclosed prior to > filing for the patent, is potentially at risk. The US has just about the > most lenient laws, where you're able to patent something up to 1 year after > public disclosure, but generally speaking worldwide that is not recognized, > and not a valid practice. Generally anything you disclosed prior to > patenting becomes unpatentable. You're going to need legal counsel for > incorporation - I have two good references I'm happy to pass along off-list > - both are likely receptive to working on credit - allowing your bills to > pile up until such time as you're funded and able to pay them, because they > know the fastest way to destroy your startup is to demand you pay their > bills straight away. > > Reach out to all your friends and contacts, get all their advice. Become > comfortable with having everyone sign NDA's so you're not publicly > disclosing anything. Get your form NDA from your legal counsel - because > if you download from the internet, there are lots of different ones that > are valid and invalid in different regions. > > Understand that all your friends & contacts are going to give you > conflicting advice. That's not the point. The point is, when you pitch to > investors, *they* are also going to give you conflicting advice. Every one > of them tell me "what investors are looking for" and none of them say the > same thing. By talking everything over with all your friends & contacts, > you're going to build up buzz, and they're going to surprise you with the > contacts they can introduce you to. By getting more exposure to them all, > you'll be more prepared for each one. > > Carefully manage your exposure to investors. They are thick with each > other, and nobody wants to feel like they're getting "seconds" on a deal > that they've already heard about through some colleague in a different > group. Ultimately, you'll *need* one or more of them to personally > advocate you within the group. Your chances are *much* better if you can > get personal introductions rather than cold approaching them. All > different people are going to give you different advice about how to find > and approach potential investors - Attend groups like Venture Cafe, and > Ycombinator, and MassChallenge, Boston New Tech... And a bunch of > others... Go attend those groups before you're ready, just so you can see > what other people say and see what they present, and see what peoples' > reactions are to them. You'll be improving your own personal skills just > by interacting with the community. > > Be prepared to share some stake in the company to whoever advocates you. > It is very common practice. Talk to your lawyer about what's legal and > what's not; there is a fine line. You need to be careful what you say and > how you say it - especially in email. > > Do everything you can to generate buzz. Present at meetups and > conventions, etc when you're ready. > > Try to find some mentors who have been through this sort of stuff before. > One of the best things I did was to do an initial Friends & Family round of > investment, in which, a handful of people I knew invested - and surprised > me with the amount of knowledge they're able to contribute. I send out > regular status updates and solicit their input, and anytime I have to make > tough decisions, I call them up and discuss. Not only do they have > valuable contributions to make - they have a stake. You'll often hear the > phrase "Friends, Family, and Fools," because naturally a lot of people > doing this will not be very well qualified. But if you do it right and get > some knowledgeable people on board, it can be valuable. > > Oh. Definitely read this. It helps a *lot* to understand how you should > be incorporating and who/how to invest. > http://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/qasbsec.htm > _______________________________________________ > Discuss mailing list > Discuss at blu.org > http://lists.blu.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss >