|Not a member? Sign up now!|
James & Wells Intellectual Property Experts recently held a four-city, nationwide seminar series, ‘Turning Innovation into Gold’, which saw 13 kiwi entrepreneurs tell the business story of their personal journey through innovation, a journey that covered the mistakes made, the strategies that worked (or didn’t), the lessons learned and advice for others contemplating a similar path to possible prosperity.
Interestingly, some common themes emerged, with one of the biggest issues being a lack of funding, particularly when entering the global marketplace.
Being innovators, however, the speakers on tour had plenty of tips to help others struggling in this environment and their innovative instincts extended beyond the products or services they’d created.
Some suggested saving start-up costs by engaging experts in the business and giving them shares in the venture and other speakers had similar tips around collaboration, giving suppliers ‘skin in the game’. Innovation Council speaker Louise Webster urged innovators to look for partnerships both as a way to improve their speed to market and to access established channels to their customers.
Ceri Wells of James & Wells posted an article on their website saying, “Therein lies the self-evident truth to come out of the ‘Turning Innovation into Gold’ seminar series. Continual innovation is a key to long-term growth and competitiveness in the global marketplace and a higher standard of living for all, yet we do little in this country to really prime the innovation pump.
“Back in the 1980s, countries like Denmark and Finland were agriculture-based economies like New Zealand with similar per capita incomes. But they have now sprinted ahead, leaving us mired on the farm in our Wellington gumboots. In the 1980s Israel’s economy was a cot case – but in the last year alone, there were 1400 new technology start-ups in Israel. The economies of these countries have diversified and become more productive because their governments engineered a cultural shift in attitudes to innovation and created a business environment that facilitates and supports technology based start-ups.
“We can do this too. Persuading kiwis to invest in innovation and start-ups (rather than property) is not something business alone can do, because we have a small, risk-averse domestic market, which is dominated by small businesses. The answer lies with our Government; if it sincerely believes in a thriving innovation economy where we profit from the brainpower we have here, it needs to unclog the arteries of innovation and get things pumping. Our government has to follow the lead of countries like Israel, Denmark and Finland which have R&D tax breaks, assistance for IP ownership, and generous, readily accessible funding for good ideas.”
For more information on James & Wells please go to http://www.jaws.co.nz .