As an entrepreneur and inventor, you have probably wondered, “How do I get investments for my inventions?” No inventor is successful without financial backing – either their own or from an investor. If you have thought, “How do I get investments for my inventions,” then read on; several options exist.
- Invent a useful, marketable product. The first step in getting investments for your inventions is to invent a product that has commercial viability. Remove your self-interests and emotions from the equation and make sure that your invention is something you truly believe is marketable.
- Develop a production quality prototype. It will take more than just a good idea to get investments for your inventions. Create a production quality prototype to display and show potential investors. There is no greater selling point to investors than having a concrete product to touch and operate. Producing this prototype will give you additional knowledge you can build into a business plan to attract additional investors.
- Join a local inventors group. Networking with other inventors is extremely useful. Piggyback on their knowledge to ferret out local investors and other funding ideas.
- Apply for a personal loan. Although a long shot, applying for a personal loan may provide the invention funding you need. Banks will require a detailed business plan and a prototype to evaluate your loan application. The benefits of a personal loan are that you do not give up any rights to your invention, so all the future profits remain yours.
- Find grants, loans, and government programs. Grant, loan, and government program funding is at an all-time high. Several federal agencies (including the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and others) offer loans or grants to fund research for useful products. Research what grants are available, apply for the grant, and then use the money to create your invention. If you have already invented something that meets the loan or grant criteria, apply for that grant or loan. Government programs are usually excellent investments for inventions, though they are usually very specific as to what they are looking for. Available programs can be found at the websites of the various federal agencies.
- Post to invention forums. The advent of the internet allows anyone from around the world to be a potential investor in your invention. Several invention forums on the web have sprung up, connecting inventors and investors. Post your idea, discuss your prototype, and see if any investors are interested.
- Look for angel investors. Alternatively, you can look for angel investors on the web. Angel investors provide startup funding for inventors and small businesses. Angel investor networks abound on the web. You will need a business plan to attract angel investors – so write a business plan, upload it to an angel investor network, and wait for the investors to roll in.
- Use other inventions to fund future inventions. If you are a regular inventor, selling early ideas to industry (rather than marketing them yourself) can provide you with your own funding. Use these early successes to fund and create even more profitable inventions – inventions you can then keep an equity stake in to increase your bottom line.
Keep in mind that only commercially viable inventions will attract the interest of investors. If you are not getting any bites when you put your idea out there, reevaluate to ensure your idea is useful, marketable, and potentially profitable. If it is, do not give up… attracting investors takes perseverance and determination. Also, remember to patent your products before details are given out to any potential investors to protect your intellectual property rights. Follow the above steps, and you will never wonder, “How do I get investments for my inventions?” ever again.