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Crowdfunding

​10 tips to protect your crowdfunding idea from intellectual theft

Some of the tips include preparing some freebies and creating a unique brand.

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Crowdfunding has become a game changer since its rise in the digital market, though it has also been existing as a process to gather funds through traditional means. The introduction and success of crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have allowed for people with big ideas to get funds for their projects and startups.

In essence, crowdfunding is collecting an amount of money from different individuals especially from primary contributors like family, friends, or pre-arranged investors. Online platforms like social media and blogs have made it easier for any person to crowdfund even on a global scale as long as certain guidelines are carefully considered.

As financial transactions get increasingly digitized, crowdfunding platforms have provided a more cost-effective means of funding great ideas and startups. However, the public and social nature of it has also led to the susceptibility of ideas of being stolen or copied. Some might try to copy you and beat you to the punch. Here are some ways you can dodge the copycats.

Ideas notebook.

Crowdfunding ideas can also get stolen because of its potential to raise a huge amount of funds. (Source)

  1. Seek legal protection through patents or copyrights. You may apply for provisional patents or copyrights for your ideas or inventions.
  2. Preapre an inventory of products for shipping. Many supporters might want to order immediately if you are selling products. It is a good idea to have an inventory ready.
  3. Be ready to manufacture the products or outsource the manufacturing. Search and close a deal with a manufacturer. You may also need to go overseas to outsource.
  4. Hire an expert in manufacturing deals and processes. You may need to hire a consultant from other countries who are familiar with cheaper but high-quality manufacturing facilities elsewhere in the world.
  5. Do not ask for too much money. You can avoid being noticed by potential competitors and copycats if you stay below the radar.
  6. Raise your own capital. Do not directly resort to crowdfunding without first raising some minimum capital. You may need to produce prototypes or do some marketing campaigns first.
  7. Rebrand and remarket. You do not necessarily have to invent something new to be successful in a business venture. You may simply need to find a useful but underrated product and rebrand or remarket it better.
  8. Have a unique brand. You need to refocus your effort in making your brand well-known. Emphasize quality and identify your own specific niche. In this manner, you can build a strong support base of loyal customers.
  9. Register for trademark protection in China. Most of the product knockoffs come from China. One way of avoiding this is to register for trademark protection in the country even before you launch your project.
  10. Include freebies or exert extra efforts. You must add value beyond the product itself. Perhaps you can include freebies or launch contests to attract customers.

Sharon Harris is a feminist and a part-time nomad. She reports about businesses primarily involved in tech, CBD, and crypto. She started her career as a product manager at a Silicon Valley startup but now enjoys a new life as a personal finance geek and writer. Her primary aim is to provide readers with a new perspective on the overlapping world of finance and technology.

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