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Test tubes in a laboratory at the International Rice Research Institute headquarters in Los Banos, the Philippines.
Test tubes in a laboratory at the International Rice Research Institute headquarters in Los Banos, the Philippines.

Networking

How to bring an idea to market Add to ...

Chris Castillo, president of Master Entrepreneur International Inc., offers these tips for entrepreneurs planning to turn a product idea into a business:

• Decide whether you’re an entrepreneur or an inventor – developing and licensing the product may be a better option.

• Ensure the business will be feasible, that there is a market for the product, and that the economy can support it.

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• Hire a patent agent to make sure there’s no existing patent on a similar product, or do your own search with the Canadian Intellectual Property Organization.

• If you don’t have a network of people you can turn to, try a business incubator, or colleges and universities, to tap into a pool of expertise.

• Have a prototype designed as early as possible and get target-customer feedback on what could make it better.

• Secure a letter of intent or even a purchase order from potential buyers.

• If you are considering having the product made outside of Canada, contact the various embassies for a list of their country’s manufacturers.

• Get a production-cost quote and samples of the finished product from all potential manufacturers to compare cost and quality.

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