26 April 2018
World IP Day 2018 – Megan Wright
Megan Wright co-founder and Chief Operations Officer – Impactful Ventures
Could you please describe your business and which problems it solves?
We are a Social Enterprise using data, technology and artificial intelligence to solve the world’s nastiest problems, specifically addressing the UN Sustainability Goals.
What kind of innovation and creativity challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
Many Non-Profits understand they need better data systems but are often reluctant to embrace innovation via new technologies. To overcome this, we have invested our time in educating our market and offering free consultations.
Did your business need to protect certain IP?
What steps did you take to protect your IP?
I employed a Trade Mark solicitor very early on in my journey. Unfortunately, what I protected was only the name of my tech startup, which changed by the time I had something worth protecting. Additionally, I frequently use NDA’s when meeting with organisations who are larger and more resourced than I am at present.
How do these steps protect you in future?
There is a large degree of faith that entrepreneurs must take, to believe that the agreements we use will be enough to protect our precious effort. But at the end of the day, having a solid strategy to mitigate risk is vital to keep up with the rapidly moving market.
Has your IP ever been stolen/misappropriated by a competitor?
Not completely, but I have absolutely questioned the integrity of several organisations who I have met with, who said they weren’t interested and then months later came out with a very similar concept.
Is there anything you would do differently next time around?
I would not rush in to trade mark the name of my concept until I was sure that the name suited the product I would eventually go on to launch. I would be confident in the value of my IP and do more to protect it even with large organisations you would think you could trust.
Are there any key lessons you would like to share with other female entrepreneurs?
Know your value and keep your cards close to your chest until you have a strong understanding of the way you can work with people. Having said that, preparing and practicing a solid elevator pitch which enables you to still discuss your concept and the problem you’re solving, without disclosing too many details is also essential.