Services provided by CIMTEC:
- Coach you in developing a business plan and provide valuable feedback
- Help you to identify prospective funding opportunities and to seek them out
- Strategic analysis of commercial potential and business risks associated with your technology
Raising enough capital to finance the entire product development process can be a significant challenge. Fortunately, moving the development of your product forward can be approached in stages.
There are many avenues through which to raise capital at various stages in the development process, including:
- Federal grants
- Provincial grants
- Venture capital
- Angel investors
- Bank loans
It is crucial to develop your business strategy as soon as possible. Establishing a clear strategy will help minimize risk to you and your funders, as well as prioritize key milestones.
The decisions you make at the onset can significantly impact the time and expense of bringing your device to market.
Having a strategy in place will go a long way to aid public, as well as private funders in deciding whether or not to back your venture.
Consider the following when formulating your business strategy:
Conducting a thorough evaluation of regulatory issues will impact the likelihood of getting your product to market with regulatory approval or clearance, as well as of securing the necessary funding to develop your product.
Regardless of which jurisdiction you decide to pursue, the classification of your device will dictate the financial resources needed and the time it will take to get to market.
It is important to consider a reimbursement strategy early in the product development process. There is no guarantee that anyone will be willing to pay for the device even if you are able to get it approved for clinical use.
Protect your intellectual property from competitors. Seek out patent protection, especially if your company is built upon a single technology. Enlist the help of a patent professional to obtain patent protection.
Prior to an initial meeting with CIMTEC, consider the following:
- In which countries do you think your device has a market?
- What aspects of your technology or device are patentable?
- In which countries do you want to obtain patent rights?
Patents are expensive. Depending upon how many and which countries you decide to enter, costs can escalate quickly.
In addition to protecting your own intellectual property, you should assess whether you have the freedom to operate. Is there any risk that your invention will infringe on the patent rights of others in all jurisdictions in which you intend to make, use or sell your product?
If there are potential barriers to commercialization of your product, attempt to identify them early in the development process while you still have options to minimize the risk.
Finding and partnering with pilot customers can be invaluable in developing a product. Having “customers-at-the-hip” while you are prioritizing product features will help ensure that you include the benefits identified by them in the final product.
Pilot customers who have been actively involved in the product planning process also make excellent advocates as your business grows.
Whether you are a researcher in a university or governmental organization or an entrepreneur, you need to be thinking about the strategy to commercially exploit your invention.
The options include:
- Create a spin-off company and take on all the risk of fully developing your product
- Seek out licensing opportunities and shift the risk to another party
- Establish partnerships and share the risk
Depending upon where you are along the product development pathway, one strategy may make more sense than the other.