There are many people at the UIA who work very hard to develop the programs and tools an inventor will need to be successful. Using years of experience as a guide we try to fill the potholes many inventors fall into on their journey.
Knowing that funding is often the largest obstacle an inventor will face – it is our pleasure to introduce a program we have been working on for many months with a company we have come to respect called FundaGeek. This program uses a relatively new process for gaining funding in small increments from people all over the world. The process is called “Crowd Funding” and although it takes a dedicated effort on your part, it has become a proven and successful way of funding invention projects.
Let me be clear – the money raised in crowd funding is not an investment, or a loan. This money is a gift from people who want to support you and your effort. There is no requirement to pay any money back. There is no requirement to show a return on an investment. However, there is a requirement for you to respect the gift you are given and to do the most you can with it.
How this works….
In crowd funding you will be explaining to the crowd your project and the significance of it. You can do this in writing or by using a video. The better you relate your project to the crowd the greater the chances of them supporting you.
As an inventor funding program, we recommend you approach it in incremental steps. If you have a new idea and you would like to do research on the idea or to have some drawings done, or even file a provisional patent application. You would ask the crowd for a relatively small amount of money (maybe $1500.00) when you’re funding goal was met and you received your money you would then execute those tasks you had outlined in your request.
When you have achieved those goals from your first request, we recommend you go back to the crowd and show them the results of your earlier funding – then request additional funding for the next logical steps.
This incremental approach will drastically increase your chances of success by showing the crowd you are doing what you set out to do and being a good steward of their donation. It will also vest them emotionally in your journey and make you feel a little less alone in your inventing process.
Each funding effort works on a time frame of 30, 60, or 90 days. You would select a time frame based on the amount of money you are attempting to raise and how long you think it may take you to raise it.
Funds from the crowd are pledged to your project and sent to FundaGeek. If you achieve your funding goal for that project 5% of the total amount is deducted for processing and the remaining 95% of the funds are sent directly to you. If you do not reach your funding goal the donors are not charged and you will receive no money.
It is important to understand that this is not a money printing website. This is a tool that allows you to use your social networks, your family and friends, and others who want to support you as a way of gaining incremental funding in smaller amounts for your inventor journey.
What if I’m further along in the process?
Although we recommend you work with smaller request amounts, the FundaGeek system is designed to allow requests at any dollar amount. You may use these larger amounts to secure funding for things like tooling, patent applications, or even inventory.
How many times can I use this?
There are no limits on the number of programs you can have active at any given time.
How does this compare to other crowd funding programs?
FundaGeek is designed specifically for technical projects. Within that framework the UIA has worked with them to develop a program for use strictly by inventors. This site is the only one with a dedicated inventor program and submissions within this area are limited to inventions.
What can I use this for?
There are no limits to what you can use Crowd Funding for. As an inventor you may use it for research, for prototypes, patents, drawings, even to attend a tradeshow.
It is important to understand that crowd funding represents an alternative to traditional invention funding. The money raised using this process is yours free and clear. However, great care should be taken to ensure the funds are used in the manner in which they were requested.
The UIA designed this program for your use. We make no money from it and have no stake in its success – we do ask that you respect it and use it in the manner it was designed so future inventors will have this valuable tool for their journey.
Mark Reyland is a professional inventor and product developer. The information contained in this blog is based on years of taking products to market