Customers (consumer or enterprise) often behave in complex ways that do not match initial assumptions. It is therefore essential to test things in the real world as early as possible. The exception is of course therapeutics for which medical trials replace the prototyping stage.
A large part of the risk can be reduced by well conducted conversations with the expected customer; however at some stage it will be necessary to build a commercially relevant prototype to see how people use the product or service and whether they are willing to pay for it.
There are many ways of finding the funding to cover this period: we have Proof of Concept funds, European and government grant agencies can often provide funds and often large corporates will cover the costs of a development phase in order to get early rights to use the technology. We can also provide access to physical and digital prototyping resources both on campus and via external suppliers.
Innovations will help you to identify the best route, apply for funds with or on your behalf and work with you to build commercial relationships. In addition the costs of custom legal documents are often prohibitive for an early stage startup and it can be difficult to know where to start in a negotiation to get the best deal; our team have been through it before and are happy to guide you through this.