A new year, means a new beginning. January is the time to recharge, set goals and leap into the year ahead with renewed determination. If in 2015 you had a ‘light bulb’ moment for a fantastic new product, but weren’t exactly ready to tackle it, make 2016 your year for action. All great startups begin with a single idea, but it has to be put into practice.
Below are a few important steps to take as you begin your startup journey…
- Do your market research. Conducting thorough market research is the first step to determine if you do, in fact, really have an idea worth pursuing. First, you need to make sure that a product similar to your idea isn’t already out there. After it has been determined that your idea is still viable, your research then focuses on test groups. What need does your product fulfill? How many people have the issue you are solving? Survey these potential “customers” to gain further insight and hone in on your product idea.
- Secure intellectual property. This is a big step that has a tendency to be overlooked at the onset. Patents, copyrights and trademarks are all ways to secure your rights to an idea/invention. It is vital to the success of your product and startup that you secure your IP before taking a product to market. Navigating IP on the path to commercialization can be a challenge, and we highly recommend that you consult with a licensed patent attorney to review your IP options and decide what will be the most beneficial for your specific invention.
- Build a functional prototype. Having a prototype lets you test the idea, work out any design challenges and research manufacturing partners. Building a prototype will help you validate your product early-on and gain credibility. Completing all of this before seeking funding—if that is your intended goal—brings a new level of credibility to you and your startup. (Not to mention, this preparation also shortens your entire product development timeline.)
- Write a business plan. Getting your idea down in writing helps solidify it for yourself and any potential co-founder you invite on board. A business plan will help you focus on a strategy, set clear business objectives, prioritize, track milestones, manage cash flows and secure funding. Many investors want to see a solid business plan before they consider backing a startup.
- Apply for an accelerator program. An accelerator program connects you with additional business resources and professional expertise. Consider applying for an accelerator program if you want to scale your startup quickly and get connected with both mentors and investors.
This list is does not cover every single aspect of turning an idea into a startup, but it will certainly get you going in the right direction. As Ron Conway, noted Startup Investor, once said, “Any time is a good time to start a company.”
Interested in an accelerator program? Our Startup Connector manufacturing and commercialization program is now accepting applications. Apply today: www.startup-connector.com
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.