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Patents Bring Competitive Advantages

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Andrew J. Polcha, Mentor Program Chair and CEO, <a href="http://www.worldpipe.tv">WORLDPIPE</a>

Andrew J. Polcha, Mentor Program Chair and CEO, WORLDPIPE

If you are the founder of a local company and if you have software products or projects under development, and you have failed to pursue any patents, then you will want to attend the event on May 24th, Making Sense of Intellectual Property for Software Companies.

You can’t build too much value and the rules at the USPTO  have changed since March 16, 2013 from first to invent to first to fileSee here for details. At the very least, find out what you can and can’t do.

If you have competition in the market; maybe your competition has not filed patents either? Get informed for “who was first to conceive the idea” no longer matters as much as the first to file at the USPTO. Don’t lose out because you don’t know the facts. Get the facts and talk to the experts and I’ll see you on the 24th.

As many of you know, in my volunteer life, I run the Mentor Program for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington, DC and Baltimore. (MITEF) In doing so, I get the privilege of meeting many of the founders within the area’s early stage start-up community. Being located in DC/VA/MD, in close proximity to the federal government, it is no surprise that lot’s of technology innovations and start-up efforts converge on our nation’s capital.

In my position at MITEF, I hear a lot of elevator pitches and business descriptions from start-up founders; with most entrepreneurs I meet being focused on Internet and managed services, cyber-security, mobile and social media applications. Of all these market segments mentioned, most, if not all, of the start-up companies within these sectors are creating a single software application as their companies’ flagship product.

Founders I speak with often say, “I am not the only company doing this (in this space) within the market…” When meeting someone new at one of our events and in trying to understand their business venture; one of the first questions I ask: “Do you have any patents?”. Probing about patents early in the conversation with founders is in the forefront in my thought process because I am definitely a firm believer in competitive advantage in business.

Now, if you ask any attorney, they’d be right in telling you, as general advice, that you can’t patent software or applications. So, many founders hear this advice and go-on to build their companies and build their software products; thinking legal pursuit of IP is an inaccessible path for them… As it is true, you can’t file a patent on software BUT you may file a patent on the innovation the software does or performs… I’ll say no more and leave the discussion to the experts at Fish and Richardson P.C.

Learn From Patent Experts – Register Here

One of my favorite business quotes about competitive advantage comes from Warren Buffet: “The key to investing is not how much an industry will affect society or grow, but rather its competitive advantage and the durability of that advantage…”

To me, a patent means a big legal competitive advantage to any business, especially to a start-up; and the durability of that legal business advantage is greater than 20 years.

Our Speakers:

Jeremy Monaldo                                              Nick Jepsen

Making Sense of Intellectual Property for Software Companies

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headshot 2-4-16Software companies are often unaware of the Intellectual Property assets they have developed. The question of what software innovations can be patented can lead the developer to the conclusion that it is too costly and complicated to protect these assets.

In our next event, Making Sense of Intellectual Property for Software Companies, we will show entrepreneurs what they need to know about protecting Intellectual Property.

  • Discover what it takes to patent software innovations under the current landscape;
  • Learn what you can do to maximize the value of your Intellectual Property;
  • Talk directly to Intellectual Property experts about your situation and,
  • Create value for your company by knowing the facts

You have a great idea that can change the world. One that people will surely want to buy. And one that others may want to copy or imitate. What should you do to protect your innovation – and when? What are your risks for doing nothing? And what are your trade-offs?

If these questions keep you up at night, you won’t want to miss the MIT Enterprise Forum of DC’s program about innovation, patents, and the law.  You’ll get powerful insight from experienced attorneys and entrepreneurs. You’ll learn the answers to important questions that every entrepreneur should know, such as, what is the Supreme Court’s Alice Standard, and what are the most common misconceptions about patents? You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your own questions at our Roundtable Discussion.

Register here to join us on May 24th for this outstanding program! 

Lessons Learned in Startup Operations

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Our recent event, Lessons Learned in Startup Operations, was a big success.   There was definitely energy in the room and lots of people glued to their seats.

The audience met James Quigley, CEO of Canvas, Cherian Thomas, Founder and CEO of Spotluck Inc. and Todd Walrath, founder and CEO of CareSave Technologies (Homecare.com). Each CEO presented their technology and company to the audience of MIT Alumni, entrepreneurs, MBA students  and service providers that cater to the entrepreneurial community in DC.

The CEO presentations were followed up with a moderated discussion by the Dean of the GW Business School – Linda Livingstone. Dean Livingstone used the audience questions to guide the conversation and Q&A with the audience.   Attendees gained valuable insights from the CEOs who shared lessons learned on the path from conception to viable business.

We hope you can make our next event!

What to Expect: Lessons Learned in Startup Operations

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Register Here for the April 6 MIT Enterprise Forum event at the George Washington University Business School (starts at 6:30 PM, Duques Hall Room 453) which explores lessons learned in scaling operations.

Not only what went right, but what went wrong. Which risks were recognized, and which ones weren’t? How were the problems addressed?

  • By attending this program, you’ll have a rare opportunity to learn about three successful start-up companies, explore their technology, and meet the CEOs who are leading them to market.
  • Entrepreneurs will gain important insights straight from CEOs who can look back and share their experiences running high-growth startups.

You will meet successful CEOs of startups including James Quigley, CEO of Canvas, Cherian Thomas, Founder and CEO of Spotluck Inc. and Todd Walrath, founder and CEO of CareSave Technologies which is doing business as Homecare.com. Each CEO will present their technology and company to the audience of MBA students and faculty, MIT Alumni, entrepreneurs and service providers that cater to the entrepreneurial community in DC).

Audiences at MIT Enterprise Forum events are a key part of our programming. We have found that live polls useful at our events. We will poll the audience electronically with the following 4 questions for each company:

1. Do you find the value proposition compelling? (yes, no, not sure)
2. Do you consider the business model to be viable and scale-able? (yes, no, not sure)
3. Would you buy stock or invest in this company?
4. Would you like to work at this company?

The CEO presentations are followed up with a moderated discussion with the Dean GW Business School – Linda Livingstone. During the break, we will again solicit the audience for questions. Dean Livingstone will use the audience questions to guide the conversation and Q&A with the audience.

AGENDA

6:30 – 7:00  Networking and registration

7:00 – 8:00  Program– 3 CEO presentations

8:00 – 9:00  Panel discussion and Q&A

9:00 – 9:30  Post-event networking