Pitch Deck Definition? - What is it and why do you need one?
Have you recently come up with an idea that has the potential to be the industry's next great breakthrough? In order to get started, you will need funds, which means knocking on the doors of investors or companies and pitching your idea. This situation puts you inconstant fear of having your billion-dollar ideas stolen.
The reality is that it can happen. It is quite difficult to protect a business idea or creative concept during the pitch stage. Especially when you are starting up your venture, it is hard to consider legal ways such as intellectual property rights, copyright, and trademarks.
But there are still some measures you can take to safeguard your idea. We have compiled ways you can save your idea from getting copied.
In this article, we will cover the following aspects:
Ideas might come to your mind overnight, but it takes countless days, months, and even years to bring them into reality. From identifying a problem, creating a proper solution, developing an operational plan as well as building its value in the market, it takes hard work and dedication. It's sad how, occasionally, people's ideas get hijacked. So how do you present an idea to a company without them stealing it?
To keep your idea safe, it is necessary for every pitcher to take preventative measures, which can be:
The company you choose to pitch your idea to should be trustworthy. To confirm this, it is vital to perform due diligence. This will help determine whether your partnership goals are compatible and to learn more about your potential partner. By thoroughly researching your collaborators, you will also get information regarding their prior attempts at partnership. You can cross-check their previous track record of patent infringement.
One should refrain from presenting an investor with a finalized product during a pitch. The central concept behind an idea is to present a solution to an existing problem. However, that doesn't mean sharing every single detail.
If you do so, you will paint a complete picture of your company concept. That way, you will basically be turning over your whole project to them by giving them a complete strategy, and they won't need you to work on it.
A strong pitch should introduce the potential firm first. For this, you will have to make some investigative inquiries and show that you know what the firm wants and that you can deliver that.
On the other hand, you can also include ideas and practical examples of how you have partnered with previous clients to build projects. By focusing on your company’s potential, you will avoid giving away the essential details of your project.
Do not be overly eager to distribute your business plan to everyone who wants it. We understand that you frequently want to talk about your ideas. It can either be to boast, brainstorm, and may look as though you are contributing to debates. You should safeguard your company strategy and only reveal it only when you are confident that you are dealing with trustworthy persons.
As mentioned earlier, your business idea must have taken some time to shape. You will have previous data stored on soft or hard copies. So, before pitching your startup idea to a company or investor, you should document your prior work and save it somewhere safe. Compile everything important that can prove that this concept was entirely yours; add dates, times, and so forth. This way, if someone steals your idea, you will have supporting evidence to legally dispute their claims.
It is also essential to consult with your lawyer and get legal counsel when it comes to launching a project. When others realize you have legal support, they will think twice about stealing your company concept. However, when pitching the idea to investors or potential partners, you run the risk of exposing too much information, which might lead to the invention being stolen or no longer being protected by law.
Most of the investors you will be presenting to, including accredited investors, institutional investors like venture capital, or angel investors who are well-known in the sector, aren't there to steal your concept.
Most of the investor's task is to locate a solid offer with a decent investment possibility. They are looking for people with the expertise, the kind of individuals running the firm, with the concept, the people on the ground to really take that money and multiply it for them.
If your startup or company has no proprietary information, they will not want to invest. Well-established investors seek companies with patents, non-replicable methods, or infrastructure. This way, they trust your company and believe you will be the one who can bring in a more significant return. If they are in favor of your pitch idea, these investors are willing to work with you to create a larger, better version of your product or service.
Read more on how to send pitch deck to investors.
Protecting your idea legally is the most secure method you can apply. By going the legal way, your idea will be safe from getting stolen for the years to come.
There are three main ways to legally protect your idea. To begin, you can submit a provisional patent application if you think your idea is patentable. Secondly, you can also use a nondisclosure agreement even if the concept is not patentable. And lastly, you can also go for the copyright and trademark option.
Even though the patent application is one of the longest processes, it is also the most secure. It can take up to two years and cost several thousand dollars to obtain one. According to legislation, anybody who "invents or discovers any new and useful technique,machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may acquire a patent" from the United States Patentand Trademark Office.
Now, this one is the cheapest way to protect an idea. Thanks to the confidentiality agreement, you will have a legal right to take action against the investor, licensee, or buyer. You might file a lawsuit against them for breach of contract if they used your innovation or concept without your consent in their own product or went beyond simply evaluating it.
By registering for the copyright, you may create a public record of your copyright that may be used to support any allegations of infringement in the future. A copyright's duration varies depending on when the work was written and registered, but it usually lasts for the creator's life and additionally after 70 years.
Furthermore, by registering your idea as a trademark, you notify the public that you own the mark. Assuming it is yours,the law grants you the only authority to use the registered mark in connection with the products or services specified in the application. As a result, others are prohibited from using a mark that is confusingly similar to yours.
There you go! Now you know how to protect your idea when pitching it.
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