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Turning an Invention Idea into Money

Lesson Eleven: How Do I Raise Money?

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Introduction - About These Lessons

No Money

If you have absolutely no money and you want to get your invention into the marketplace, it is very unlikely that you will be able to turn your invention into a commercial product. By no money, we mean someone who is unable to earn money above living expenses, raise money, or borrow any money.

However, if you are willing to work there are opportunities out there.

Business Means Business

The most fundamental piece of advice I would give a newbie trying to raise money for his/her invention is this; conduct yourself in an appropriate businesslike manner. An e-mail inquiry asking for financial support penned in an informal manner and full of grammar and spelling errors will get no response. The same goes for badly penned snail mail and muffled or confused sounding phone calls.

Invention Funding

Below are outlined several different ways to gain invention funding to borrow or raise the funds needed to bring your invention through the several stages of the invention process and to the marketplace.

I would also suggest that you could join a local inventors group to learn from those in your area who have already accomplished what you hope to accomplish: raise money, find backers, or get a patent etc.

Find Grants, Loans, & Government Programs

Many branches of the government give grants and loans to fund research and development of inventions. However, the grants are often very specific as to what type of inventions funding is given. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy offers grants for the development of inventions that benefit the environment or save energy. The U.S. Department of Small Business offers small business loans. Getting a grants or loan will require footwork and research on your part.

Find an Investor - Venture Capital

Venture capital or VC is funding invested, or available for investment, in an enterprise such as bringing invention to marketplace that offers the probability of profit (along with the possibility of loss) to an investor.

Traditionally, venture capital is part of the second or third stage of financing for a business startup, which starts with the entrepreneur (inventor) putting their own available funding into a shoestring operation.

Next, an angel investor may be convinced to contribute funding. Generally an angel investor is someone with spare funds and some personal (family) or industry-related interest. Angels are sometimes said to invest emotional money, while venture capitalists are said to invest logical money that is they are willing to help give the new enterprise a more solid footing. Did you get your business plan together yet? Your potential investor will want to see it.

Become an Entrepreneur

It is quite an undertaking to manufacture, market, advertise, and distribute your own invention or intellectual property. Ask yourself, "do you have the spirit necessary to become an entrepreneur? If the answer is yes, here are the resources to self-educate yourself in the art of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Canadian Inventors

Research Canadian invention funding, research money, grants, awards, venture capital, support groups and Canadian government patent offices.

Student Programs

Win prizes or a scholarship. Student invention competitions includes college and pre-college programs.

Continue > Appendix & Additional Resources

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