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You Have a Product Idea but No Money. What Now?

Let’s say I’m an inventor with a problem: I have an invention idea but no money. Is there a way for me to move forward with my idea and even turn my idea into a business with the resources I have? The answer is yes. In this post, we’ll explore some solutions to the “I have an invention but no money” predicament and discuss how to get an invention started, even if you don’t have the financial resources you need to complete the process right now.

Research

Learn about the market environment where you plan to introduce your product to increase your chances of success. Here are some free research methods to get you started:

PRIOR ART SEARCH

Seeing what has been patented and what is already on the market could save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. There are plenty of free online resources available for researching patents (Google Patents) and available products (Amazon).

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CONSUMER SURVEY

When you’re learning how to start an invention, don’t be afraid to directly bring your idea to potential customers for feedback. Ask them questions about their needs and what they would want in a product.

FREE CONSULTATION

Business consultants, patent attorneys, manufacturers, and product development companies (like us) sometimes offer free consultations, where they will meet with you and share some advice about how to get an invention started.

DEVELOPMENT

Even without the ability to build a functional prototype, there are plenty of ways to improve your idea and realistically move forward.

WRITE IT DOWN

Before taking any further steps, get your product idea on paper. Don’t just sit around thinking “I have an invention but no money” because that will get you nowhere. There are plenty of free apps out there that are useful for sketching a virtual copy of your idea on a device. Our notebook, Inventor’s Notes, is another great tool for brainstorming and developing your idea.

BUILT A MOCKUP

Now that you’ve developed a concept, build a non-functional prototype with the resources you have. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to convey an idea to your investors of what your product will be able to do.

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PITCH

Present your idea to investors or potential partners and obtain the financial capital you need.

PRESENTATION

Create a professional-looking presentation (on PowerPoint, Google Slides, or other presentation software) to present your idea to investors. Show them that you’re serious about this project and explain how you’re solving a problem that matters to consumers.

PITCH COMPETITION

At a pitch competition, you’ll have the opportunity to practice presenting your product to potential investors and even receive feedback from experts.

ACCELERATORS

Accelerators are entities, like the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), that help other businesses start and grow. They have experts who can help you network by connecting you to their partners.

FIND AN INVESTOR

After having gone through all of these steps, you will be ready to start pitching your idea to investors in a way that will help them understand your vision and motivate them to contribute the financial capital you need to move forward.

So if you’re an inventor thinking to yourself, “I have an invention idea but no money,” don’t give up! With dedication and perseverance, you can make your idea live up to its full potential no matter what your budget may look like right now.

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