Working with the Legal Triage Service for EPICentre has been an incredibly rewarding experience being able to help educate entrepreneurs on IP and business strategy. IP strategy has been a point of interest for me since my time interning with the Risk Management department at BMO. The world of IP has changed and grown in the past few years thanks to numerous technological advances, in turn, IP has become a tool that can be utilized in new and exciting ways. This summer my work has revolved around how business start-ups and early phase businesses might leverage their IP for use in their risk management strategies. Further, how IP valuation can be used to help early-stage businesses develop more comprehensive IP and business strategy.
The recent pandemic caused thousands of Canadian businesses to suffer economic hardship, many of these businesses were not prepared, and why would they be? Who would expect such a significant disaster event to happen now? That is where a thorough risk management culture within a company, no matter the size, can make the difference between succumbing to economic hardship and remaining resilient in the face of economic hardship. IP can be leveraged through various financial instruments to create realizable value. By translating intangible value into realizable, liquid assets, a business can better structure their risk for decreasing risk exposure and increasing business resilience in the face of external risk events, specifically in the face of national and global economic downturn.
Taking risks is one of the most important parts of operating a business. Each time an owner or manager attempts to seize an opportunity they are taking a risk. This could be any part of growing a business; having a website designed, expanding to a new city, purchasing more inventory, or anything else that is essential to successfully grow a business. Each time an owner or manager takes a risk, it may result in success or failure. That being said, in many cases failure is an acceptable outcome, failure should be considered an investment to learn from, to help avoid future mistakes, and contribute to future success. Risk management allows a business to mitigate the possible catastrophic outcomes of failure by knowing what risks it can take and whether a failure will result in acceptable losses. Developing a business’s risk management framework allows you to take calculated risks. Leveraging IP helps to support risk-taking activities as it transfers the unusable, intangible value of IP into useable capital.