In our class in Technopreneurship, our instructor discussed regarding the Technopreneurship Ecosystem, the three vital components for business, Seed Money and its examples, Angel Investors, some Famous and Successful Technopreneurs and she also discussed to us the lessons regarding Intellectual Property and its Rights. Let me discuss these topics one by one.
We have learned that the parts of the Technopreneurship Ecosystem in order to be successful are Human Resources, Environment, Laws and Policices, and Financial Resources (or HELF). The components of Human Resources are Research, Developer, Scanner and marketing people and financers. The researchers are the thinkers, idea generators and the innovators, developers are the implementers and technical people. Also, scanner, marketing people and financers are components of human resources. Moving further, the components of Environment are Science parks, Incubation centers, Academic Institutions, R & D Centers , Internet access, Communication, Other Support Services, Geographic accessibility, and Venture Mentoring Services/Support. Incubation centers have incubation programmes provide incubation services to assist technology start-ups in their vulnerable beginning stages, enabling them to grow and flourish. Their supports are Office Space and Facilities, Technical and Management Assistance, Promotion and Development Assistance, Business Support and Financial Aid Package. Going further, the components of Laws and Policies are Intellectual Property Rights Office, Technology Licensing Office (facilitates commercialization of inventions) and Legal Services. Lastly, the components of Financial Resources are investors, business sector, funding agencies and financial services (i.e. Accounting).
We have also learned about the three vital components for business and these are Excellent Market Opportunity, Superb entrepreneur (and management team) and Resources needed to start the company and make it grow. Talking about Excellent Market Opportunity, it needs to know the Customer need and must have Timing. If in case, would-be entrepreneurs who are unable to name customers are not ready to start a business. They have only found an idea and have not yet identified a market need. In this case, one must plan to start a business with the knowledge of the market need and must identify customers. Also, if the window of opportunity is brief, the entrepreneur will rush to open the business, usually with inadequate planning. This means that usually if entrepreneurs who rush to open a business without proper planning will lead to costly mistakes. Thus, planning to open for a business needs proper timing. Going further, the Technopreneur and the management team should have experience in the same industry or a similar one and cannot go on OJT at the same time. In addition to this, ideal entrepreneur/technopreneur is one who has been a successful entrepreneur in the same industry, have management experience, preferably with responsibility for budgets, profit and loss, sales. The business will be successful if led by a person with strong entrepreneurial and management skills. And the last vital component for business is the Resources that has a principle of Entrepreneural frugality (pagtitipid) which means Low overhead (operating cost), High Productivity and Minimal ownership of capital assets.
We also learned about Seed Money or Seed Funding which is a form of securities offering in which an investor purchases part of a business. According to our class discussion, the term seed suggests that this is an early investment, meant to support the business until it can generate cash of its own, or until it is ready for further investments. The options of this include friends and family funding, angel funding and—recently -- crowd funding. In our lessons also, tapping family and friends to raise cash for a company that's either too new or too small to get financing elsewhere is an age-old formula that still makes sense. But here's one risk too big to ignore in today's highly competitive capital marketplace: if you don't follow professional standards in structuring and documenting "F&F" loans or equity arrangements, your sloppiness will likely come back to haunt you. This is true because if and when your company grows to the point at which it can credibly approach banks or professional investors for funds, their lawyers will examine your corporate capitalization structure with a fine-tooth comb. In my own opinion, an entrepreneur must have a good credit record everywhere so that whenever he needs to borrow money, especially in banks in which really investigate your credit backgrounds very keenly, they would grant him loans. The examples of Seed Money that has been discussed during our class are Blood Money, Borrowing: Avoiding Problems with Family and Friends, Borrowing Money for Your Business, Steps to Borrowing from Family or Friends, and Try Bank Borrowing. Blood Money or borrowing money from family and friends is the most common way to finance a start-up and it's also the riskiest. In avoiding problems with family and friends in borrowing, it's best to prepare for the worst -- before it happens. Moreover, the steps in borrowing money from family and friends includes one should keep the relationship professional is the key to successful borrowing from close acquaintances. Also, in borrowing money for your business, especially in the banks or someone you know, it is best to sign a promissory note - - a legally binding contract in which you promise to repay the money. Tips to remember, one should try Bank borrowing for bank financing isn't impossible and one should find an Angel Investor because they will not only share their money; they're also great sources of knowledge for fledgling businesses. Lastly, our instructor taught us the 9Fs to consider in starting a business and these are Founders (first class entrepreneur), Focused (focus on niche markets, specialize), Fast (decision making, implementation), Flexible (open mind, respond to change), Forever Innovating, Flat (organizations), Frugal (low overhead, productivity high), Friendly (to their customers, suppliers, workers) and Fun (to be associated with an entrepreneur company).
Our instructor also shared some examples of Famous Technopreneurs and their inventions and contributions, local and international. The examples she gave us are...
Bill Gates (Microsoft software),
Steve Jobs (founded the Apple together with Steve Wozniac),
Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founded Google),
Dado Banatao (Filipino ICT Hero),
Going further, talking about Intellectual Property which refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.
Our instructor also shared to us regarding Intellectual Property Rights these are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. It usually grants the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time. Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines is the Republic Act No. 8293 of June 6, 1997 is an act prescribing the intellectual property code and establishing the intellectual property office, providing for its powers and functions, and for other purposes.
It is divided into three categories:
Industrial property (PATENT), Trademark and Copyright. Industrial property includes inventions (patents), Trademarks include industrial designs, and geographic indications of source and Copyright includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.
Going further, according to our lessons, a Patent grants an inventor exclusive rights to make, use, sell, and import an invention for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. It has a term of protection of twenty (20) years providing an inventor significant commercial gain. In return, the patent owner must share the full description of the invention. This information is made available to the public in the form of the Intellectual Property Official Gazette (is the public journal and main publication of the government of the Republic of the Philippines) and can be utilized as basis for future research and will in turn promote innovation and development.
Requirements for Filing a Patent
- Request for the Grant of Patent
- Description of the Invention (Specification and Claim/s)
- Drawings necessary for the Invention (if any)
- Filling Fee
Going further, talking about Trademarks according to our lessons, is a tool used that differentiates goods and services from each other. It can be one word, a group of words, sign, symbol, logo, or a combination of any of these. Generally, a trademark refers to both trademark and service mark, although a service mark is used to identify those marks used for services only. Trademark is a very effective tool that makes the public remember the quality of goods and services. Once a trademark becomes known, the public will keep on patronizing the products and services. Utilized properly, a trademark can become the most valuable business asset of an enterprise. In addition to making goods and services distinctive, the owner of a mark may earn revenues from the use of the mark by licensing its use by another or though franchising agreements.
These are examples of Trademarks:
• ® Registered trademark
• ™ Intent to use application filed for product
• SM Intent to use application filed for services
Rights are reserved exclusively for owners for 17 years; it can be renewed and lasts indefinitely.
TM = unregistered trade mark, SM = unregistered service mark, ® = registered trade mark
Trademark can be protected through registration. Registration gives the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the mark and to prevent others from using the same or similar marks on identical or related goods and services. Your mark should be able to distinguish your goods or services from those of others. Your mark should also meet the requirements for registrability of marks under Sec. 123.1 of the Intellectual Property Code.
What are the requirements to apply for registration?
1. A duly filled out trademark application form [you can access link from site]
2. Drawing of the mark
3. Payment of fees
2. Drawing of the mark
3. Payment of fees
Part of our lesson is the Trademark Infringement, Counterfeiting, and Dilution. Infringement is a mark that is likely to cause confusion with a trademark already existing in the marketplace, Counterfeiting is the deliberate copying of a mark, and Dilution is defined as the value of the mark is substantially reduced through competition or through the likelihood of confusion from another mark.
And the last category for Intellectual Property is Copyright. It is a protection for authors of original works, whether published or unpublished. It covers original works of authors, composers, screenwriters, and computer programmers. In Section 172 of the IP Code are the copyright protection listed.
THE TWO TYPES OF RIGHTS UNDER COPYRIGHT
(1) economic rights, so-called because they enable the creator to obtain remuneration from the exploitation of his works by third parties, and
(2) moral rights, which makes it possible for the creator to undertake measures to maintain and protect the personal connection between himself and the work.
The term of protection of Copyright for original and derivative works is the life of the author plus fifty (50) years after his death.