We first addressed this topic in 2014 with our post “Get your technology funded: There’s No Such Thing As a Technology Funder” (https://www.ebhoward.com/theres-thing-technology-funder/) and it is still true today. No one is looking to fund “technology”. What they are looking to fund are solutions to pressing issues people face every day, like better ways to approach surgery, stronger connections in IoT devices, and safer drinking water. Many of these solutions would not be possible without some sort of technological device. Investors are looking to fund more than shiny new objects and passing fad gadgets, but they will certainly take interest in funding anything that solves these big problems, including technology. The trick is all how you pitch it.
Solutions, not stuff.
When you approach funders to demonstrate the merits of your device, do not focus on what it is and how it’s made – focus on what it can do for people. Investors judge potential investments on several factors including intellectual merit (does it work? Why and how), commercialization potential, and perhaps most important, broader societal need. You need to prove to investors that this technology can improve lives or society at large. Products that can drastically change people’s lives for the better are often the first to be funded regardless of industry. When you pitch your product or idea to investors, place emphasis on the broader societal need it serves.
Investors, while concerned with broader societal needs and solving global crises, are also concerned about income. Funders want to know that they will have continued returns on investments for their contribution. To assure them that this will be the case, it is wise to demonstrate why and how your technology has the potential to scale, not only now but also in the future.
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