The startup community is flowing with fantastic ideas, but if you want investors to take your pitch serious then you need a prototype. Investors have figured out that asking for a functional prototype is one way to separate the ‘wannabe’ entrepreneurs from serious players. As the old adage goes, “talk is cheap”. Entrepreneurs who are prepared to show a prototype to investors, whether angel investors or a crowdfunding community, demonstrate that they know how to execute.
Having a prototype shows that you have already tested the idea, worked out the design challenges and researched manufacturing partners. Completing all of this before seeking funding brings a new level of credibility to you and your startup.
If you find yourself sitting on the fence as to whether or not you should go ahead and develop that prototype, here are a few points to consider…
- Show your commitment. Demonstrating that you are willing to move this product past the idea phase lets investors know that you are serious and should be taken seriously. The process of designing, building and validating a prototype does take time, but it also greatly reduces risks and challenges later on.
- Test your idea in the real world. When your idea is brought to life, you are able to validate the idea and garner consumer feedback. Let potential customers get their hands on the prototype to test its functionality and decide whether it does in fact fit their needs. When you talk about your idea, each person imagines it in their own manner, but a functional prototype is a concrete way of bringing your idea into existence.
- Implement design feedback without dire consequences. Make pre-production design changes without losing inventory. Nothing is worse than having inventory that you cannot sell. Investors and consumers will have design modification ideas, and testing them out with prototypes is much more cost effective.
- Reduce costs and time-to-market. Time is money. Validating your design before it heads to manufacturing lets you get the product out of the door while staying on schedule. A three-dimensional prototype will also allow you to effectively negotiate contracts with manufacturers.
The benefits and advantages of a physical prototype should not be underestimated. Building a prototype will help you validate your product early-on and gain credibility.
Do you have additional questions about the prototyping process? Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.