It’s World Intellectual Property Day!!!

The first 10 people to sign up today for the VentureForge mailing list will receive for free the $199 “Intellectual Property Strategy for Startups” course launching on May 21st that includes a 6-hour, web-based course and a hard copy of the 114-page book “Intellectual Property: A Handbook for Startups” by Dr. Stephen Di Biase, Managing Director of VentureForge.

The next 100 people to sign up get the course for free plus an e-book version of the IP Handbook.

The next 1000 people to sign up will get 50% off the course plus an e-book version of the IP Handbook.

Sign Up Now! Go to

For startup founders, the prospect of where to even begin with an IP strategy can be a daunting task. It may seem easiest to leave this to law firms and other third parties, but that is not always feasible due to budgetary constraints, but even more importantly, a firm should never outsource its strategic intent.

When a founder and their leadership team is educated in IP, and have developed an IP strategy for the firm, they create several tangible benefits making fund raising and scaling the business more effective. Having an IP strategy when asking investors for money differentiates you and lets you have a conversation that most founders can’t have with their investors.

All firms can, and should, take basic steps to protect their uniquely valuable IP. Especially for startups, where IP often represents an important component of a company’s value, this may be the single most significant component. Investors and acquirers are often interested in such companies primarily for the potential embodied in their IP. In extreme cases defects and deficiencies in a company’s IP portfolio can drive investors and/or acquires away entirely.

Some specific benefits from having an IP strategy are:

  1. Reducing investor angst by ensuring the basis of the business and their investment is protected from being “stolen” by a fast follower with more resources
  1. It’s a signal of quality. An implemented IP strategy is a signal of quality that facilitates access to financing and helps startups overcome the liabilities of newness.
  1. It can boost market share. As an example, a mobile phone antenna, based on principles of fractal geometry allowing phones to shrink in size allowed a startup firm to license their IP into 90 percent of the world’s smartphone makers.
  1. It can create more exit options. From a straight sale of the business to licenses and combinations the IP provides multiples paths to a profitable exit


Specific considerations when the IP strategy is missing:

  1. Investors will demand more aggressive terms to mitigate their risk.
  1. The firm may need to fund legal activities to secure Freedom to Operate opinions.
  1. Uncertainty will distract the founder and the leadership team as they’re trying to secure the firm’s space in the market.
  1. Frivolous litigation by competitors, and their parties, will consume limited resources better used elsewhere.
  1. A missing IP strategy, or one poorly executed, diminishes the firm’s future potential by not anticipating market and customer needs to be protected.


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