A new invention is a rarity but one that makes it through to commercialisation is even more so. Among the questions inventors should ask themselves when planning to take their inventions to market are:
1.) Is my product/service unique and/or useful enough?
Does your product fill a gap in the market? What is the selling point and differentiation factor?Once you are clear on the competitive advantage of your invention, you should be able also clearly define the idea behind your invention and highlight its appeal to your target market and potential investors.
2.) What and how to manufacture or provide my product/service on a larger scale?
Having a working prototype for demonstration in addition to conducting the appropriate testing will be able to give you a clearer framework of the type of manufacturing required. It is also essential to use customer feedback in the development of your product or service. You will need to identify if your product development is complete and ready for commercial production. Market research is also vital to identify key players, potential customers and market size.
3.) What is the cost and resources that I will need in addition to the technical knowhow?
Once the requisite market research, testing and development have been conducted, next is the financial evaluation of the feasibility of your product or service. Have you earmarked an early business model and identified possible directions to take? The commercialisation stage requires financial projections for the next few years to gauge the funding required.
4.) How do I protect the intellectual property of my invention?
You should be able to explain the idea behind your invention outside your industry, have a prototype for demonstration, conducted internal and external testing, and get professional advice such as from IP lawyers or patent offices to protect your intellectual property. Documenting the features and benefits of your invention in addition to having supporting technical documents and related approvals and certification further demonstrate that your product or service is workable, which aids in getting your intellectual property (IP) protected.
While the challenges may seem overwhelming, the rewards are immeasurable. The best way to fast-track your invention is through a recognisable platform such as the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX). A premier platform for inventors in the region for the past 30 years, ITEX gives inventors a head start through the numerous opportunities afforded via its established networks and targeted activities.