Scott’s sniff test: is this idea relevant?





3-4 hrs






FEED and Angel Pitch Competition designed and administered by UT LaunchPad Incubation client Phabriq Development -

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FEED meets and works out of COspace at the University of Toledo College of Engineering’s Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex 1510 N. Westwood, Toledo, Ohio 43607




So, here’s my 3 steps to starting a project and enlisting support from others:

  1. 1.Establish Relevance: When presenting to anyone, much less investors, it’s always best to identify if your idea is relevant to them. Will they buy it for themselves, or for someone they know. If it’s not relevant to them, at least...

  2. Explain in one or two sentences what the problem is for your demographic segment (customer), i.e. 17,000 people file slip & fall lawsuits annually. We want to make building lobbies safer so fewer people slip. Great exercise on how to craft your One-Sentence Pitch

  3. 2.Research the market/Competition: My theory is that there’s always room for 3 (e.g., Ford, Chrysler, GM), and so long as you’re not infringing on a competitor’s patent, it’s a matter of improving and/or differentiating; plenty of innovators (and lots of engineers) make a living doing just that:

  4. Find what companies/products that are similar or same to yours via simple google queries. Use a thesaurus for other key words people might use for their products or searches.

  5. Determine as best you can their cost, and equally important, the market size for that particular sector (one of the best sources for this is to go to Carlson Library--they have pricey subscriptions for such data).

  6. Estimate gross revenue figures if possible, so your investors see how big the pie is: price x volume of goods sold, i.e. 30,000 office buildings nationwide, ~300 people/day enter each building, x# of lawsuits...

  7. Explain how you can make a better mousetrap for the right price.

  8. Patent search. Google search is easy. Start here:

  9. Here is the link to the US Patent & Trademark search process:

  10. 3.Show Inevitability/Path: More difficult with an invention where there might not be a market yet, but easier when technology or market behavior can be observed heading in your direction.

  11. Describe how you are certain that this market segment will appear or will grow and how you can steal a share from competitors because of x, y, and z