Small and medium enterprises account for 99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK and play a critical role in long term growth prospects of the UK economy. In the era of the digital revolution, many of these companies are investing in ideas and intangibles creating intellectual property (IP). In some cases, IP may be their only asset. Consequently, IP is crucial to their ability to grow and attract further investment. An IP strategy is a key component of the overall business strategy.
When assessing investment opportunities, equity investors often place great importance on a company’s IP. It can underpin the ability of a business to defend its position by providing exclusive use of an invention or method and prevent others from copying. This can be the difference between success and failure.
Most companies are not IP experts and may lack the knowledge and funds to fully understand and manage their IP. As a result, this can hinder their ability to communicate with investors.
So what’s a potential solution and how might companies go about developing an IP strategy?
Inngot provides online tools for businesses & entrepreneurs to identify, value and promote their IP and intangible assets. This offers businesses a starting point for establishing a framework for an IP Strategy. Building on this allows companies to capitalise on the strength of their IP and use it to help secure finance they need to grow and support their company valuations.
This subject is explored in an IPO commissioned a report, Banking on IP [pdf], investigating whether those who created or owned IP assets could use them to secure the finance they need for company growth. Chapter 4 (starting on page 90) focuses on the forms of equity finance and their relationship to IP.
Note: Inngot is a portfolio company of one of Delta2020’s Partners