Entrepreneurship · Finance

How to sell your idea without giving it away?

Kevin Johnson Innovator of marketing and entertainment technology.

June 6th, 2017

I need to develop a working prototype of my internet concept. I have the team in place. I want to file the provisionary patent as well. Before that is done, how do I raise funds without giving my idea away and losing it to someone who has more funds than I? I currently need $20,000 to get the provisional patent files and a working demonstration of the new concept in internet interactivity.

Paul Ikhane Serial Entrepreneur and Innovator. www.petbulb.com

Last updated on June 8th, 2017

I have experienced this same problem in 2008 before I started my first company. I had the idea for 3 years before I could share with anyone including those who were suppose to help make the idea a reality. Here is what I concluded after that experience and many others I have had around the feeling/fear that someone will steal your idea.

1. Someone has thought about similar idea already, maybe in a different way

2. What really makes ideas successful is how well it is executed and that is something no one can steal from you

3. Don't be afraid to talk about your ideas with anyone, you are probably the only one who can ever make that idea a reality, trust me.

I hope this helps.


Thierry Meliot Growth Hacker

June 6th, 2017

Most startup sell execution and not ideas.

Your idea is worth nothing while your execution to a marketable product is worth a lot of money.

Investors don't care about your ideas and their business is not about stealing ideas , they are buying proper execution.

A relaxed second degree ( but not really ) article about the subject : https://medium.itsniceplace.com/why-nobody-will-steal-your-shitty-start-up-idea-795feaea5a6a

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

June 7th, 2017

Before you consider filing a provisional patent with that kind of price tag, consider paying for a professional patent search. Your idea/product may not even be something that can be patented, either because it doesn't meet one of the three basic criteria, or because the thing already exists. While pro se filing is less expensive, it can also cause problems because your filing cannot be corrected if it's done wrong, making all the effort futile in the end. I understand why an IP firm would charge you the price you've quoted, but maybe you've rolled two items into one price? You do not need a demo to file. But you do need your product to still be a secret. If you've talked about it with ANYBODY outside your company (other than attorney you've hired), you may have nullified your ability to patent.

Everyone worries about giving their idea away, but don't. Ideas are cheap and nearly valueless. As others have said below and before, it's about your ability to execute the idea profitably, not the idea itself. Even a good idea can be a failed company. Think VHS vs. Betamax or think Blu-Ray vs. AOD. Lots of people have the same or similar ideas, but only one has a plan that makes the product viable. Your idea can be great, but YOU are what makes the idea even credible as a business. For the most part, investors are NOT sitting around wondering how to steal ideas and do them on their own. That's not their business. Their business is making more money. They have little interest at all in creating companies.

Chris Steel Business owner looking for new opportunities

June 7th, 2017

You get anyone who you share your idea with to sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement) so they legally agree that they wont disclose or use any details or ideas you tell them.

Ihab Bendidi CEO in GenTech, CTO in B-LIFE, mobile and web dev Engineer

June 6th, 2017

As your solution is in the IT field, the idea doesn't matter. It's worth nothing at all. It's all about how you will execute it. For example what are the innovative algorithms you will be using and such, details about that stuff you would do well to not divulge it and only breach it in general, but as for the idea, really, investors don't care at all. They have all the funds and there are thousands of great ideas in IT. what they're looking for is someone who believes in his idea and would do all the effort to execute it perfectly till the end

Robert Johnson I help people start and build their business.

June 13th, 2017

First of all, given the amount you are seeking initially, you won't be approaching VC firms or professional angel groups. Those are the folks who have or have access to the skills, experience and knowledge required to run with your idea.

Once you have identified your target for capital, approach them with a well crafted problem statement. Don't proceed to describe your solution until you see that they resonate with the problem.

Craft your solution presentation so that you unveil the details in stages. Build the relationship and mutual trust. don't reveal everything until you are comfortable.

Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss the specifics of your situation.

Martin Boyd Cofounder

June 7th, 2017

I'd recommend starting with family and friends. Is there anything you can sell to raise a part of it? If you really believe in the idea there are plenty of creative ways to get the funds. There are several peer lending sites that can help fund your idea also depending on your credit worthiness.


June 7th, 2017

I need to take that first bold step in starting and building up my business idea. No matter how small I start, the fact is that I have started with the little resources I may have knowing fully well that with sustainability and good market strategy, business growth will be achieved.


June 7th, 2017

I need to take a bold step in starting and building up my business idea no matter how small knowing fully well that with sustainability and good market strategy, business growth will be achieved.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

June 7th, 2017

I just thought of something else I should have said earlier about ideas. Forget turning ideas into companies. Find a problem that needs to be solved, then formulate ideas to address that problem. If your internet concept isn't solving an existing common problem, it is not likely going to make you money when you produce the product. People might not be far-sighted enough to see the problem, that's fine. Example: invention of the automobile. People weren't sitting around thinking, "Gee, I wish I had a machine to replace horses," but that didn't mean the problem of the length of time it took to get places didn't exist.