Have a question? We talked to the CEO of IdeaPros, Fred Cary, who is always ready to answer your burning questions and bring the information needed to make your entrepreneurial journey easier.
How Do I Approach Investors With My Idea?
The only guarantee we can give to an entrepreneur is that there is no way you can take your idea and have somebody give you a million dollars for it. There is no such thing as the greatest idea in the world. Unless you’ve found a way to eliminate gravity, you will need to ask for money to get started.
If you don’t have anything valuable to sell, can’t get a second mortgage, or borrow against a 401k, then your circle of friends and family is the way to start. Although they believe in you, you will have to show them you’ve done more than just dreaming. They consider it a risk, and you need to convince them otherwise. Only when they see the size and growth of the market, who your competitors and consumers are, and how you plan to provide a great solution, they might feel comfortable giving you the money.
Never say you don’t have any competitors because if there is a problem, there must be a solution out there already. Maybe it is not direct, but it is there. If you’re not solving a problem, then you have a crappy product.
“Be prepared and don’t be bashful. Explain what you’re going to do with the money and ask for a reasonable amount.” – Fred Cary
If you feel embarrassed to ask for money, maybe you are still not ready and don’t feel confident about the product or your ability to turn it into a successful business. Once you can look yourself in the mirror and say “I can do it” then you are ready to approach your potential investors.
How Do I Become An IdeaPros Partner?
“We will only work with entrepreneurs who have skin in the game and who believe enough in themselves to go out there and raise the necessary capital to get started.” – Fred Carry
We base our decision on a couple of criteria.
- Is it a good market? Is it a growing market?
- Is there a real competitive advantage in what’s being done, and can we pull it off?
- You can have a competitive advantage on an invention that turns out to be unmakeable. Is it something we can price reasonably?
- What are the people buying now, and how can we make them love us more? But even more important than all that is the person we will work with.
- What’s their drive, where did they come from, and why are they unsatisfied with their lives today?
“If you’re not passionate and willing to just give up everything and try to make this happen, you’re never going to survive.” – Fred Cary
What Costs Should A Business Owner Of An App Expect After Launch?
Just like in a regular business, you have certain overhead costs. In the case of an app, those would be the maintenance of the app. A firm will charge you a monthly payment from $500 to a couple of grand for hosting, dealing with bugs, upgrades, etc. Apart from keeping the house clean, you will have to handle reliable customer service. And of course, you will have to advertise. No one will hear about your app if you just go live and wait for success. There are 10,000 new apps every day uploaded to the app store.
“You don’t have to start with a million-dollar budget, but it’d be awesome if you end with a million-dollar budget.” – Fred Cary
How Do I Get An Extension For A Patent That’s Expiring Soon?
Patents are usually for 20 years. If yours is expiring soon and you haven’t been able to do anything with it in 19 years, maybe that’s a sign. In the case of a temporary, provisional patent, it is just a timestamp that protects your start date. In the United States, it is now the first to file, and it used to be the first to invent.
“The first person to file an idea with the patent office is the one who has the available protection.” – Fred Cary
The patent office doesn’t even review your provisional patent documentation, it rubber-stamps it. You then have a year to file a utility or a design patent. You should be able to get two extensions at six month intervals at a time. The best idea is always to consult a patent lawyer and get up-to-date information.
What’s The Most Important Attribute For A Leader?
Listen to the people around you. When sitting around a table with people you trust, give your opinion last. If you do it first, everyone will agree with you because you are writing the paycheck. Be a good follower. Follow the advice of the people you depend on. Create power, passion, and perseverance, and you will become a good leader.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey. We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.