When startups pitch ideas to investors, it may be crucial to thoroughly cover the company’s intellectual property rights (IPR). In this article, investor Sune Alstrup gives you a few good advice on how to convey IPR in your pitch.
Intellectual property rights can be a crucial factor to whether or not you walk away empty-handed from an investor pitch. In addition to having control over which market you are in and what problem you are solving, it is relevant for investors to know that you are in control of the company’s rights.
Investor Sune Alstrup has first-hand experience with this. As the founder of the company The Eye Tribe, which was sold to Facebook-owned Oculus, he has registered 21 patents – especially within the field of “eye tracking.”
“It is important to be able to tell investors what kind of IP you have and plan to have in the future. It signals maturity and appears very professional and convincing. At the same time, it is the investor’s assurance that there is value in the company, even though the company is newly founded and may not have any customers yet,” says Sune Alstrup.
During the endeavor with The Eye Tribe and his education at ITU, Sune Alstrup built up extensive experience in how to convey IPR in pitch situations. By talking about the company’s intellectual property rights, it was easier for him to convince investors and other stakeholders about the company’s visions and potential.
“We always had a slide that gave an overview of our intellectual property rights in both hardware and software, our trade secrets as well as trademarks and designs. It was important to be able to tell where we were in the process at all time, so it was clear to the investors that we had a plan to develop our technology,” he says.
In the following, Sune Alstrup offers three good advices on how to communicate IPR and get the most out of your investor pitches.
1. Have the IPR strategy in place
As a startup, you need to be clear about whether you want to protect the company’s rights or not. You do this by researching the possibilities of registering patents, trademarks and designs and outline a strategy for it. In addition, it is important to be clear on where the company can develop its rights further, so that both you and the investors have an idea of what they can expect in the future.
2. Present IPR in your pitch
Any pitch deck should have a slide about the company’s focus on IPR. It should typically be placed in the middle of the pitch once you have reviewed the needs and the market. The slide should be concise with an overview of the company’s current and future plans for IPR. Remember that it must not be too technical. Just a brief overview. In this way, you show that there is potential to develop additional value in the company. The more value you can add, the more confident investors become. At the same time, it increases the value of the business, which provides you with a better argument for the assessment.
3. Share enough, but not too much
Be sure to tell about the company’s IPR at a level where you are not saying too much, but just enough so that the investor understands the value of your rights. Investors are very conscious of what they are being told. And it is considered unprofessional to reveal too much in a pitch. However, there are many non-confidential matters you can share that make sense to investors. For example, you can tell who has helped with the company’s IPR and what function the product has. Later, you may want to consider making an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) if the investor requires further information.
Want to learn more about IPR?
Plougmann Vingtoft’shave extensive experience in advising companies in all industries on how you can utilize IPR in your business. if we can help you enforce your rights.