Practice Safe Crowdfunding

There has been much written about the need to get started with equity-based crowdfunding because otherwise the necessary deal flow will be noticeably absent when the SEC promulgates the rules. 100% Agreed.

However, whether it is a Kickstarter or Indiegogo rewards based campaign or preparing your company for equity crowdfunding using one of the new deal flow portals such as Crowdfunding Hatchery, we recommend “Safe Crowdfunding”. In fact, our message is to practice safe financing or even safe startups.

Traklight’s 5 Steps to Safe & Successful Crowdfunding

1. Identify your ideas and all the associated Intellectual Property (IP)
2. Protect your IP before you crowdfund
3. Pick your Platform
4. Raise Social Capital
5. Create your Campaign

If you read the first two steps and thought “that does not apply to me”, you are incorrect. 100% of companies have IP but that does not automatically translate into expensive patent protection. And in some cases, you may not have to file or register any IP; it may be more about protecting your IP with contracts. You may need help from a business attorney or online document provider.

With any type of crowdfunding your idea are out there in public for everyone to see and potentially copy. Also there may be implications for your future patent protection if you show everyone too much or offer the item for sale. So the key is to identify and protect BEFORE you launch your campaign.

Picking the platform the next and the right one depends on your objectives. Kickstarter is all or nothing, therefore if you do not hit the campaign target, you do not get anything. On the other hand Indiegogo has options that include paying a higher fee in order to receive the funds from your campaign even if you did not make the target. Be mindful of whether you can still fulfill your rewards with less than 100% of your goal. Ensure you do the research for the best fit.

Raising social capital is critical. Without a crowd, there is no crowdfunding. A strategy is to create content or become an expert in a field or thought leader. That credibility and validation allows you to draw in the social followers that are necessary to fund your campaign. It’s quality not quantity.

The final step is creating the campaign. If you just build it, they will not come. An additional tip related to Intellectual Property is that during the creation of the video or promotional part of your campaign, look for copyright and permission to use notices on the songs, pictures, or any items created by others. Read those notices carefully before you incorporate the items into your campaign to avoid infringement.

More information and resources on Practicing Safe Crowdfunding is available at Best of Luck and be careful out there!

Spotlight On PADT

Here at Traklight we like to pride ourselves on understanding the needs of our clientele. Even though we can’t deliver on each and every need we sure can point you in the right direction. That is the focus of our Spotlight posts. We will regularly be spotlighting a stellar company from our IP Cloud and providing you the best and most affordable way to make your business a success. So don’t forget to regularly check in for updates or go to our IP Cloud to look around yourself!

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies Inc. (PADT) is an Arizona based company that helps its’ clients deliver better product at less production cost in a shorter time period. In recent time the crowd-funding phenomenon has giving innovation a boost and everyone with a great idea can reap the rewards of their creation without having to be concerned about funding. But the issue this creates is that previously when innovators wanted funding they had to present business plans and cost and risk assessments, but now they do not. Without proper experience despite having a good product, and no one to guide them, the inventor ends up losing both money and reputation. There are so many stories regarding delayed or cancelled projects on Kickstarter® alone.

PADT is in the business of helping companies large and small make innovation work for physical products. Through the application of simulation, product development, and prototyping, PADT works with inventors to solve tough engineering problems and take their ideas from concept to working products. They are probably best known by inventors for their wide ranging prototyping services.
Lack of foresight in terms of development and product costs can lead a company to ruin. Unfulfilled orders, miscalculated profits and excessive delays in production all present a shoddy image of a company. But making mistakes are to be expected when doing something for the first time, as is the case with most fledgling start-ups. We understand experience is gained over time but the cold hard truth is that consumers rarely give second chances.

One of PADT’s most popular programs, and rightfully so, is the ‘Product Development Assessment’ for start-ups. PADT’s experienced engineers will evaluate clients’ products and prepare reports that will cover everything from outline requirements, cost of material and manufacturing estimates to conceptual sketches and risk assessments. Innovators can rest easy because the people at PADT work with multinationals to start-ups and know that one size does not fit all. They tailor make assessments based on the clients’ needs and attainable goals.

A concern a prospective innovator may have is whether PADT has any expertise in the field of their invention. A popular saying PADT engineers believe in is “Parts is parts”. The same set of skills used to design medical equipment come in handy while designing things as dissimilar as jewelry and toy packaging. The varieties of projects they handle are diverse and PADT engineers definitely have a way to analyze and make each and every product a homerun. But you don’t have to take our word for it; you can contact a lead engineer at PADT so you can discuss your needs and options available. Log on to their website to set up an appointment or check out our IP Cloud where they are listed.
The official website of PADT is:

Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Check out the ‘Practice Safe Crowdfunding’ seminar.

When: Thursday June 13, 2013 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Where: Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation
275 N GateWay Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Cost: FREE!
How: Register here to attend or watch the event streaming live!

Learning How to Protect your Intellectual Property From Facebook

solen-feyissa-iurEAyYyU_c-unsplashEveryone knows who Mark Zuckerberg is; the billionaire entrepreneur who started Facebook, one of the most visited sites on the Internet. He is an inspiration to entrepreneurs all over the world who are looking to launch the next big thing, a regular Joe who started with nothing and got everything. Well, I guess that’s not completely true. He did get everything, but to say he started with nothing is far from the truth. Continue reading “Learning How to Protect your Intellectual Property From Facebook”

Inventor’s Notebook

America has finally joined the rest of the world and shifted from a ‘First to invent ’ system to a ‘First to file’ one. Now all I’m waiting for is for the Metric system to come kicking in the door; 12 inches in a foot, 5,260 feet in a mile. Seriously! Thankfully I didn’t have to study math in America, word problems would have been the death of me. But I digress; under the new America Invents Act passed in 2011 a number of sweeping changes have been made to Patent law . Amongst these amendments probably the most noteworthy is the change to a ‘First to file’ system. The name may seem slightly misleading as it really means the first inventor to file. The law now favors the inventor who files for a patent and reduces his invention to practice first over the inventor who first came up with the idea for the invention (if separate claimants).

Continue reading “Inventor’s Notebook”

To NDA or not to NDA?

Who knew this question could have so many answers?

This question comes up more than you would think but maybe because I live in the startup world where scrappy entrepreneurs are looking for collaborators, co-founders, and capital. At a recent local Friday Lunch Friday Phoenix event, a founder asked if she should carry her NDA in her purse. The room exploded with diverse opinions.

Continue reading “To NDA or not to NDA?”

Holy cow we WON!

Funny how earlier this morning I was laying in bed thinking to myself maybe I won’t work today. I spent all of last night counting my heart beats/minute as I lay in bed willing myself to sleep, hoping this sudden surge in pulse due to typical entrepreneurial issues would subside. I woke up in one of those CEO-lows that happen from time to time. Maybe even feeling a hair defeated. It lasted only through my first cup of coffee which was enough to energize me into reality- We can do this.

I dragged myself to the office and was reviewing the latest website revisions when I heard an email pop in… I began scanning it like any other email when I realized what I was reading- Traklight just won Success Magazine’s Start Small Win Big national contest!!! Out of thousands of entrants we were selected. The words, “your business really impressed our judging team” jump off the screen. Not only will our story be featured in the August issue, but I will get an opportunity to sit down with JJ Ramberg, host of MSNBC’s weekend business program Your Business, and Darren Hardy, Publisher of Success Magazine, face to face in New York City. It’s an amazing victory timed just right.

We want to thank you for your support of Traklight, our tools, resources & team. It’s your belief in us that keeps us going to the next victory as we continue our journey to empower Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners & Inventors about Intellectual Property worldwide.

To read our Success Magazine Submission: Success Start Small Win Big

So your Spouse is a Founder…

I was sitting in the company bullpen “working” away while our CEO and Director of Client Engagement were discussing strategy on a lead they were pursuing, when all of a sudden I was interrupted and asked point blank if my blog was completed because it was due today! My only defense was to act as if I knew nothing about it and quickly the response from my CEO (Mary Juetten BCOM, CA, CPA, JD, and who knows what else!) was that the email directive could be resent to me. I asked if she really wanted me to write a Blog about being married to an Entrepreneur and Start-Up founder! I wanted to finish the sentence with “you can’t handle the truth” but I thought I had pushed it far enough.

Continue reading “So your Spouse is a Founder…”