From mid-2016 Bay of Plenty businesses have a new voice, Bay of Plenty Business News. This new publication reflects the region’s growth and importance as part of the wider central North Island economy.
Bay of plenty APRIL/MAY 2018 VOLUME 3: ISSUE 4 WWW.BOPBUSINESSNEWS.CO.NZ FACEBOOK.COM/BOPBUSINESSNEWS Capitalising on innovation How smart companies get funding for growth The Bay of Plenty has a thriving culture of innovative companies and entrepreneurs. But they can face major challenges in securing the funding they need to thrive. We examine what makes capital providers willing to invest in developing businesses. By DAVID PORTER One major concern for companies seeking capital is to ensure they have secured the intellectual property (IP) that can prove crucial to their ultimate success. Another key issue is for companies seeking investment and their potential funders to ensure that both parties’ interests are properly aligned. And strong financial planning and governance is likely to enhance companies’ chances of securing funding in a New Zealand market where, despite the increasing flow of funds into the startup sector, there are still some gaps. (see Angels thriving, but still a gap in the VC space, P6) Those were among the major messages that emerged from the recent Innovation is Gold seminar in Tauranga, one of several hosted around New Zealand by IP law firm James & Wells. The seminar featured a panel of leading funding experts. It also included experienced investor and entrepreneur Timothy Allan, chief executive of successful Bay startup Ubco, which has secured both US and local funding to launch its electric utility bike into the American market. James & Wells managing partner Carrick Robinson said in the firm’s experience a lot of companies treated locking down their IP as a “bit of an ad hoc process.” Timothy Allan. Photo/James & Wells That was particularly concerning given that the companies were looking at what could be the most valuable and only asset to give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. “Rather than a lot of thought going into it at the beginning, IP protection is usually something built on the back of a success,” said Robinson. “But the issue with IP is that a lot of it needs to be put in place before anything goes public.” James & Wells recommends a four-stage process - assessment, strategy, implementation and review. The assessment needs to examine what the company has that makes it different from other businesses. “A lot of market research has to go into what you are trying to achieve, what the market is like, what are your competitors doing, and what do you have from an IP per- Continued on page 3 Ubco electric bikes in the US: The bike’s X Factor helped in funding its international launch. But to secure the capital Ubco also needed revenues and traction, says CEO Timothy Allan (below). Photos/James & Wells, Ubco. Seeka Buying assets in Northland P10 kiwifruit Pickers getting harder to find P12 auto industry Commercial vehicle sales continue to rise P20-26