How to tell investors about the value of IP:
Today, investors are looking for different value points driven by the IP, such as M&A value, licensing value, and downside protection (i.e., the sale of IP) value. There needs to be a way to portray
this value to potential investors quickly and efficiently. If the investor must connect the dots between your business, market, and products to your IP, you might as well not talk about your IP. Investors do not have the time nor the skills, nor are there diligence entities they can hire to connect these dots for them. Most companies usually connect the dots using a simple table of “patent #” and titles, almost expecting, in some magical way, that others will see the value. Many companies simply rely on the CEO’s statement(s) that they have great IP and it covers the business. Given these generic statements that are unverifiable, investors discard pricing in the value of the IP. What is needed is a way to help the investor connect the dots between the IP and the business, market, and products for value.
Investment is all about predicting the future. IP has a timeline, that is, what has been done in the past with the IP, what is happening today, and what will happen in the future. Every company we have seen never discusses, in a systematic way, all the potential inventions it has, and therefore leaves tremendous value out of the value discussion. What is needed is a way to demonstrate the future value of ideas not yet filed as well as combine value of the current portfolio.
For early-stage investments to M&A and exits:
Many early stage companies seek to raise VC investment, family office investment, private equity investments, and recently “Blockchain cryptocurrency investment.” In all these experiences, ipCG has found that investors need a simple but compelling ipStory® to help them become interested in the company and to enhance the valuation of the company.
Additionally, companies seeking potential licensees, or an M&A need to, clearly and concisely, provide their audience with a “snapshot” of their IP while also conveying the importance and strength of their IP within the market and/or industry. The ability to provide your audience with a “snapshot”, which is backed by data, analytics, and market research, allows them to see the connection between your IP and the current market needs, your product features, and technology trends within the industry.
Usually the audience is the executives of the companies to start, then the board of directors (in smaller companies), but the ultimate audience is where your IP value is being portrayed (e.g. potential investors, potential licensees, potential acquirers of the IP). Your IP Story can help portray value to the right audience.
Telling a great ipStory:
Investors do not have time. The company needs to get the investors’ attention quickly and the company needs to focus this attention on the value of the company to the investors. As it is said, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In order to get an investor to get the value of the IP of a company, the investor needs to see the entire business with the IP positioned correctly. What is needed is a way to be able to capture investors’ attention, through a compelling “picture.”
We have found that the ipStory® helps moves the audience of the story to (1) be more excited about doing a deal, (2) enhancing valuations discussions, and (3) ensuring that the future of the IP development can be financed. Typically, the ipStory® is used in conjunction with a business plan or pitch. Shouldn’t you tell a great ipStory®?