Innovate UK Smart Grants

For many the coronavirus pandemic is becoming a catalyst for change, whether it be personal or work related. The phrase “new normal” now resonates on a global scale. For the critics, potentially our “new world” means mass unemployment, recession and a crippled economy. As a result of the lockdown many businesses are facing financial challenges as they head into the final quarter of 2020. New Product Development seems to appear way down on the priority list for a lot of companies, however investing now in the early stages of designing a new product will actually help you be ahead of the game once we regain some global stability.

There are financial lifelines available from the Government to encourage and assist you with this in the forms of kickstart grants and (what we focus on in this article) a new round of Innovate UK Smart Grants.

The latest round of Innovate UK Smart Grants, launched last month, closes at 11am on the 25th November and businesses of any size can apply for a slice of £25 million. This open UK grant funding programme has a specific purpose of supporting game changing ideas to develop new products that have significant global market potential. Applications are welcomed for NPD across all sectors including Sextech, where this industry is reportedly worth over $30 billion and estimated to be growing at an annual rate of 30%.

To be in with a chance of winning a grant, the key to your application is to demonstrate you have clearly considered your new product’s innovation, global market potential and the target customer’s needs. This is where utilising a Product Design Consultancy like Sated Design could be the key to your success.

We can assist with a feasibility study which will demonstrate to the judges that you have determined whether your NPD is do-able. We can undertake a risk assessment which will demonstrate that you have considered the end user of the new product. We can also assist you with completing your application for smart funding and if successful, most excitingly, we can help you make your ideas a reality, taking your product idea to the point of manufacture when it becomes a market ready product!

Our services can be tailored to suit your needs – we are well adapted to itemise our service and can step in and out at any stage. In our online portfolio you will find an extensive list of successful pleasure products we have helped bring to market. We have completed many projects over the last decade – some of which have gone on to win coveted industry awards – and our skills, experience and expertise are invaluable.

Contact us today and let us satisfy your needs for quality, innovation and great product design.

Sharing

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Crowdfunding

In last week’s article, we focused on the difficulties of attracting investment if you are a private inventor. As we demonstrated, a certain amount of time, resource and capital has to be undertaken before any investor would even begin to take a pitch from you seriously. As a result of this, many small start-ups are seeking alternative ways to bring a product idea to life.

One new approach that’s been steadily growing in popularity is crowdfunding. Through the emergence of websites like Crowdcube and Seedrs ,crowdfunding is revolutionising the way businesses and projects are being funded, allowing small start-ups to use the power of the internet, social media and engagement to recruit and raise funds through a large number of small investors or lenders.

Nowadays, crowdfunding sites are heavily regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) making them a safer proposition to many new investors who might have been discouraged by the risks in the past. There are also notable tax relief benefits of up to 50% available to investors through Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS), making crowdfunding investments very attractive and potentially lucrative. Within crowdfunding itself, there are three models for raising funds which are equity-based, loan based and reward based, allowing a lot of flexibility to the start-up and the investor.

For private inventors, crowdfunding is seemingly a great way of getting traction for your idea and delivering your finished product into the hands of your target market. The flexibility of crowdfunding means that it is possible for private inventors to recruit more than just financial investment in the form of hard cash. For example, some “investors” with design or technology expertise will offer time in kind and lend valuable advice if the inventor was to run in to a hitch involving something such as manufacturing during the product development stage.

However, the golden rule of any New Product Development (NPD) is to protect your idea with intellectual property. With crowdfunding it would be easy to fall foul of the copy cats so the trick is to provide enough information to entice the investors, but not to divulge so much that it puts your product in jeopardy before it’s even entered the marketplace.

Crucial to this is ensuring you have developed a robust intellectual property strategy. You should make sure that you’ve filed all necessary patent, design and/or trademark applications before you go public on a crowdfunding site. It is also crucial that you have worked out your timings, to make sure that you have enough funding to see you through the various stages in intellectual property filings and product development. If you postpone developing an IP strategy, patent protection (for example) is unavailable and you run the risk of losing the rights to your own invention.

You also must know the exact detail and terms of your product offering, even if this means delaying going public until all the details have been ironed out. It is easy to get whipped up in the excitement of the moment but it’s important to keep your feet firmly on the ground. Seeking advice from an IP Attorney and having supporting illustrations for your new product provided by an experience Product Designer will help to secure your legal position.

The expertise of a Pleasure Product Design Consultancy like Sated Design could be a clever move during the early stages of your New Product Development (NPD), however as a full service agency we can step in at any time up to the point of manufacture to assist you on your journey. Contact us today.

Sharing

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Private Inventor home truths

At some stage or another many of us will have an idea for a new product; a product which we believe will become the next great invention. This is very exciting but it is easy to be swept up in the excitement of being a private inventor and to count those chickens before they hatch.

Over the years we have talked to many private inventors and we always dread the calls from those inventors who have spent their precious resources only to end up with artistic CAD drawings of their product and a big cost milestone in their patent application. Sadly, this type of call often comes at a time when the private inventor has run out of money, out of time to secure investment and now face losing the exclusive rights to their own invention.

How does this happen?

Many private inventors cannot fund the entire process of bringing a product to the market and they require investment. Investment is not easy to secure. There are some companies who offer ‘help’ to private inventors by offering artistic CAD drawings and a patent application. The danger is to think that having a pretty picture with a patent application will be enough to get an investor on board. Is this really enough? An investor is looking at investment as a business risk; so they need to be convinced that their risk is manageable and there will be enough reward in taking that risk. So, what does an investor really look for when making their decision to invest?

• The investor will undertake due diligence using their own professional IP resource to establish if the intellectual property the inventor has is adequate (relevant, robust, defendable) and is worth maintaining.

• The investor will want properly researched and presented facts and figures to demonstrate the size of the potential market for the invention, and its competitive landscape. This will include a competitor’s analysis and a patent landscape, ideally with a freedom to operate analysis.

• The investor will want to know the costs of developing the invention into a manufactured product. Development can involve considerable expenditure in prototypes, tooling, testing, compliance and approvals.

• The investor will want to know costs of branding, packaging, marketing, stock holding and distribution.

To put it simply, investors need to be presented with a properly designed and costed product supported by robust intellectual property.

At Sated Design we have a team of design and engineering experts who all share a passion for creating successful products. We are supported by Chartered UK Patent Attorneys from world class intellectual property firms. Our track record is proven by hundreds of products and thousands of component parts taken from the first sketch all the way through to manufacturing, sometimes in their millions.

If you have an idea for a great new pleasure product, contact us today.

Sharing

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

R&D Tax relief for Sex Tech. Do you qualify?

Growth in Research & Development (R&D) tax relief claims totalled over £4bn last year. Introduced by the Government in 2001, the purpose of R&D tax relief is to offer tax credit benefits to those businesses who develop scientific and technological innovation across many industry sectors here in the UK. Reportedly to date, £26bn has been returned in tax relief to businesses across the nation and yet according to industry specialists the scheme is yet to be fully utilised.

Were you aware that Sex Tech is a key area where R&D claims are currently not being taken advantage of?

Without a doubt, Sex Tech is consistently producing pioneering work that would easily qualify under the R&D tax relief framework. Whether it is a new technology, stimulation technique, material or even the way these products are made, any and all new advancements tend to be leading innovation in the sector.
Presently the amount of Sex Tech companies applying for R&D is staggering low. This leads us to ask, is that because Sex Tech is either ignored or seen as too much of a taboo? Or is the onus on companies like you who might not even realise that you qualify?

In short, any UK limited company that is spending money on developing new products, or enhancing existing ones is eligible. Even if you’re not sure if your new product is possible, or you don’t know how to achieve it in practice, you could be resolving technological uncertainties and therefore be carrying out qualifying R&D.

The important thing to remember is that the Government’s accepted R&D definition doesn’t have to have been successful to qualify. If your project is ultimately unsuccessful but sought a solution, it could still be R&D. It is worth asking your accountant to look into this for you but you can also look for advice from HMRC and specialist tax advisers if your accountant is not 100% certain.

For more about R&D Relief click here.

If you’ve got an idea you want to take to market, we will assist you through your journey. Our services can include trend spotting and feasibility of a new adult toy product, ergonomic studies and reverse engineering which could all be attributed to R&D. Although we do not fund projects here at Sated Design, we have a comprehensive directory of business angels and companies who regularly invest in new businesses who wish to develop their products.

Contact us today and learn more about our services and how we can help.

Sharing

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sexpo UK 2015 visit

Having left early to head off to London for the inaugural Sexpo UK 2015 visit to Olympia, it was encouraging to see a queue had already formed as the doors opened.

Sexpo was aimed at the public and billed as the ‘world’s biggest sexual health and lifestyle expo’. With the external factors occurring in France, it was no wonder the visitor numbers were down but an impressive 10,000 attended over the weekend, according to organisers Carnal Creative.

We certainly enjoyed our experience with many exhibitors and product stands, stage acts, bars and informative seminars covering all aspects of the industry. The Metro published an interesting article on “14 things you won’t believe I saw this weekend” which explained a lot from a visitors point of view.

We met many of our old and existing clients and were introduced to a number of very interesting parties. There were many thought provoking conversations had which we all hope will flourish into either new or evolving product developments.

Of particular note, William from Doxy Massager was busy being well received alongside the exquisite and well produced Lovearc. An interesting conversation was had with Neil from Luvsense who explained his product with great passion and belief. Amongst others, Jason from adultxfunding will certainly have been kept busy by visitors with potential new sex toy ideas. The enthusiastic Adam from Godemiche, with his hand-poured silicone products, shows great potential to thrive.

Adam from Hot Octopuss was showing the excellent and award winning Pulse Solo and Pulse Duo sex toys on his slick and well-presented stand.

Sexpo would not be complete without a mention of Pricasso who was being commissioned and completing portraits using everything but his hands. He was stood proud, donned with only his big pink hat, painting away. And last but not least, the pups from Puppy Pride UK were busy being fed and playing in their petting zoo.

Unfortunately, we had to head off early for another client meeting elsewhere in London, so missed out catching up with yet more people. Sated Design are confident the event will be even bigger and better next year.

Sexpo UK 2015 visit selected photos:

Sharing

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail