Her CEO Journey™: The Business Finance Podcast for Mission-Driven Women Entrepreneurs

Weekly show where my featured guests and I explore the financial and business challenges women face on the entrepreneurial journey to success. You'll hear them talk about the money side of their businesses in ways you've always wanted to know about, but wouldn't dare ask. They openly share their disappointments, failures, successes, and everything in-between as they grew sales ranging from 6 to 9 figures. Knowing where your business stands financially helps you make critical decisions with confidence. It's simply the best way to be sure you grow a business that fuels the life you want to live.

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episode 130: Unlocking Financing Opportunities with IP: How to Patent an Idea — The Journey of Susan Blanchet (Intellectual Properties Series) [transcript]


Filing and acquiring patents is not an easy feat. The process is expensive, time-consuming, and intricate. With so many things to consider, it's easy to be discouraged. However, it's important to remember that IPs are of great value to your company. If you want to become an industry leader, it's beneficial to learn how to patent your ideas.

In this episode, Susan Blanchet shares first-hand knowledge on developing an effective IP strategy. We learn why you should invest in IP and how you can leverage your IP strategy for financing. We also find out how patent agents, strategists, and industry advisors can help you through the process.

Listen to the full episode to know how to figure out the pieces necessary to develop the best IP strategy.

3 reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Gain a concrete idea of how to patent an idea. 
  2. Learn how you can segment your IP.
  3. Understand the role of patent agents, strategists, and industry advisors in formulating your IP strategy.

Episode Highlights

  • [05:38] Susan's Journey into IP
  • [06:41] Early Experiences in IP
  • [07:51] How to Patent an Idea
  • [09:59] Strategic Segmentation for Patents
  • [13:35] Working with International IPs
  • [15:18] The Role of Patent Agents
  • [20:43] Multidisciplinary Approaches to IP
  • [24:04] The Benefits of an IP Strategy
  • [26:24] Susan's Financing Advice

Enjoyed This Podcast?

Write a review and share this with your friends.

Connect With Me

Ready to transform your purpose into an impactful business financial story, profit, and joy? Schedule a chat with me at any time.

Resources

  • Visit Christina Sjahli’s website! Learn more about innovating and scaling your business through the Her CEO Journey™ podcast.
  • Demystifying Intellectual Property: IP as a Tool for Protection and Growth - The Journey of Patent Lawyer Isi Caulder
  • Build Your Business Reputation: Learn How to Protect Intellectual Property and Use IP Strategies with Cassandra Derham
  • Download the Forecasting Guide so you can create a better and improved financial forecast for your business!
  • CanExport
  • Innovation Asset Collective
  • Sustainable Development Technology Canada
  • Learn more about Origen Air: website
  • Connect with Susan: Website | LinkedIn


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 2021-08-26  29m
 
 
00:04  Susan Blanchet
It's almost like
00:04
Lego, of how you can fit
00:06
together all of your patents to
00:06
create a portfolio that will be
00:10
useful not only to when you're
00:10
looking for investment, but one
00:15
of the best things that I was
00:15
told was, "Think about how and
00:18
who you want to exit to." If you
00:18
plan on selling your company in
00:22
the future, what IP might they
00:22
be interested in purchasing that
00:27
will increase the valuation of
00:27
your company?
00:31  Christina Sjahli
Intellectual
00:31
property allows founders to have
00:34
a firm hold of their business
00:34
ideas and trade secrets. You may
00:39
not realize it, but this
00:39
intellectual properties are
00:42
asset to you. They help keep you
00:42
competitive and innovative in an
00:48
ever-changing market. That's why
00:48
it's essential to protect this
00:52
asset with an IP strategy.
00:52
That's the reason why we curate
00:57
this Intellectual Property
00:57
Podcast Series. We want you, as
01:01
the founder, to understand that
01:01
your IP matters. So it's
01:06
important to know what are your
01:06
intellectual assets, how to
01:10
protect them, and how can you
01:10
leverage this asset for your
01:14
business growth.
01:16
Today's episode is the third
01:16
episode of the Intellectual
01:19
Property Podcast Series. Our
01:19
guest is Susan Blanchett,
01:23
co-founder and CEO of Origen
01:23
Air, a health tech startup
01:28
located in Victoria, British
01:28
Columbia, Canada. Susan is a
01:32
founder, just like many of you.
01:32
And she is in the trenches in
01:37
creating Origen Air's IP
01:37
strategy. Susan shares, among
01:41  others, the following insight
a
01:41
misconception she had 12 months
01:46
ago and how it created
01:46
challenges in moving her company
01:50
forward; why you as a founder
01:50
should think differently about
01:54
IP; why it's important to
01:54
involve your engineers and
01:57
finance expert in this IP
01:57
process; what are the key
02:01
resources to use in getting her
02:01
IP ready for grants and
02:06
investors; how her exit strategy
02:06
shapes the overall IP strategy.
02:12
If you're listening to this
02:12
episode, and you're thinking,
02:15
I'm not located in Canada, so
02:15
why should I listen to this
02:18
episode? If you are not located
02:18
in Canada, don't jump to this
02:22
conclusion that the episode is
02:22
not relevant to you. Take the
02:26
time to listen until the end
02:26
because it will provide you tips
02:31
where you can use it in your
02:31
research within your own country
02:36
of operation and for you to ask
02:36
the right questions.
02:41
You're listening to Her CEO
02:41
Journey, the business finance
02:44
podcast for mission-driven women
02:44
entrepreneurs. I'm your host,
02:48
Christina Sjahli. If you are new
02:48
here, a big, warm welcome. If we
02:54
are not connected on LinkedIn,
02:54
please reach out and say hi,
02:57
because that's where I hang out
02:57
and share my business finance
03:01
tips. If you have been listening
03:01
to this podcast for a while, and
03:05
you are a regular listener, I
03:05
want you to know I appreciate
03:10
you. My podcast won't be around
03:10
without your support. This is a
03:14
free weekly show where my guests
03:14
and I want to inspire you to
03:19
balance between mission and
03:19
profit, to create an impact in
03:23
this world, and to achieve
03:23
financial equality through your
03:27
business for good.
03:29
If you haven't listened to the
03:29
last two episodes in this
03:33
podcast series, Episode 128 and
03:33
129, there is one key point that
03:39
every single guest made,
03:39
including Susan, in today's
03:43
episode. It is about your exit
03:43
strategy and how it impacts the
03:49
overall IP strategy. This is
03:49
when normally a founder realize
03:55
how important it is to have a
03:55
forward-looking view. The same
04:00
is true with financial results.
04:00
As you are shifting from
04:04
short-term to long-term, the
04:04
value of historical information
04:09
decreases. We cannot change the
04:09
past. We can learn from the
04:13
past, learn from what had
04:13
happened, and done and use those
04:18
pieces of information to build
04:18
the future. That's what
04:22
financial forecasting is all
04:22
about.
04:25
If you are at a stage where you
04:25
realize you need to build a more
04:29
robust financial forecasts, but
04:29
don't know where to start, we
04:33
have a solution to your problem.
04:33
Download the Forecasting Guide
04:37
we have created for you and
04:37
start creating a better and
04:41
improved financial forecasts.
04:41
You can find the link to this
04:44
guide in the show notes. And
04:44
let's say after using the guide
04:48  you think
"This guide helped,
04:48
but I think it's better if I
04:53
focus my time on doing what I
04:53
really love, which is building
04:57
and growing my business. I know
04:57
business finance is important,
05:01
but I don't love it." That's
05:01
when we are here with you. We
05:05
understand building a proper and
05:05
robust financial forecast takes
05:09
time, takes accountability,
05:09
curiosity, and passion for your
05:13
business. Connect with us at
05:13
christinasjahli.com/lets-chat.
05:19
Now, let's find out Susan's CEO
05:19
Journey.
05:24
Susan Blanchett. Welcome to Her
05:24
CEO Journey, it is a pleasure to
05:28
have you here today.
05:29  Susan Blanchet
Thank you for
05:29
having me.
05:31  Christina Sjahli
We're gonna be
05:31
talking about intellectual
05:33
property and business finances.
05:33
But before we dive into all that
05:38
detail, let's start with your
05:38
journey from a lawyer, and then
05:42
now you are the co-founder and
05:42
CEO of Origen Air.
05:46  Susan Blanchet
Yes, it's an
05:46
interesting journey. I have a
05:49
degree in environmental studies
05:49
and psychology in addition to my
05:53
law degree. After 14 years with
05:53
the province and getting an
05:58
incredible education as a
05:58
lawyer, I just wanted to do
06:01
something that I was giving
06:01
back. I found, I wasn't having
06:07
the passion that I desired. At
06:07
that time, I met my co-founder
06:14
who had a couple of businesses
06:14
in Hawaii for 10 years. Then he
06:19
had started a green living well
06:19
company. When I met him, he had
06:24
just realized that regular
06:24
plants did not clean the air.
06:28
And he had found genetically
06:28
enhanced plants from the
06:31
University of Washington, but he
06:31
didn't know how to negotiate for
06:35
the IP rights to these plants.
06:35
That's where I stepped in as a
06:39
lawyer. That's how it began.
06:41  Christina Sjahli
So that's mean
06:41
that from the very beginning,
06:45
you already thought about this
06:45
product will need an IP
06:50
strategy.
06:51  Susan Blanchet
Yes, I knew that
06:51
having an IP to ourselves would
06:56
be the most important. At that
06:56
time, universities only like to
07:01
give out intellectual property
07:01
to consortium. So we actually
07:04
shared the intellectual property
07:04
with one other Canadian company
07:09
for the first year. I realized
07:09
very quickly how that weakened
07:13
our position. Investors like
07:13
sure things, and they want you
07:18
to have full control.
07:20  Christina Sjahli
So realizing
07:20
this early on, and then you took
07:24
the first step, what is the next
07:24
step to really protect it? If
07:29
you can share that with my
07:29
audience, because majority of my
07:31
audience may not know how they
07:31
can apply or what they need to
07:37
think about patents.
07:39  Susan Blanchet
As we moved
07:39
along, I started getting a lot
07:42
of denials from grants that I
07:42
applied for, telling me that I
07:46
needed in-house intellectual
07:46
property that was made in
07:50
Canada. The more I started
07:50
looking into it, it became clear
07:54
that IP was more of an art than
07:54
a science. We finally, just this
08:00
year filed our first in-house
08:00
patent in June. If you had asked
08:04
me a year ago, if I thought what
08:04
we filed on was patentable, I
08:08
would have said no, because it
08:08
didn't seem like it fit the
08:13
criteria of inventiveness and
08:13
novelty and uniqueness that is
08:19
required to get IP.
08:21
There's many ways to file
08:21
patents on something that is
08:27
just a bit of a change or a new
08:27
difference to the IP. The way my
08:31
patent agent explained it to me
08:31
is, "As long as you can show
08:35
that you've made a change that
08:35
is novel and different. It
08:39
doesn't have to be like rocket
08:39
science. The novelty, the
08:43
utility, and the element of
08:43
inventiveness is all you need."
08:47
So our first in-house patent,
08:47
just to show you how it isn't
08:51
rocket science, is it's on a UV
08:51
chamber. So it's UVC light. We
08:56
use a unique baffle system that
08:56
makes air flow change speed to
09:02
slow down in front of the lights
09:02
that actually can kill, or as my
09:08
scientists would say, denature
09:08
viruses such as coronavirus.
09:14
The novelty was using just a new
09:14
form of light and the baffle
09:19
system that changes the air
09:19
flow. We don't need a super
09:23
strong argument. You just need
09:23
something that's different and
09:26
unique and just a little bit
09:26
different than what's been done
09:29
before. To help others and the
09:29
listeners, one of the big things
09:34
is just trying to figure out how
09:34
to search the registry, looking
09:38
it up online taking a review of
09:38
what is in there, and seeing if
09:44
your idea is novel or different,
09:44
and just taking a leap, hire a
09:48
patent agent.
09:49  Christina Sjahli
So the first
09:49
one you say research. Second
09:52
one, you said hire a patent
09:52
agents. Is there any third step,
09:57
fourth step?
09:59  Susan Blanchet
So I guess just
09:59
to backup a bit, I should
10:00
explain what our invention
10:00
overall is. The genetically
10:05
enhanced plants that we have the
10:05
license to distribute globally,
10:09
exclusive license, when we
10:09
obtained those, we took them and
10:13
put them into a
10:13
refrigerator-sized, commercial
10:18
air purifier. So the air comes
10:18
in through the plants. So we
10:24
have a natural biofilter, and
10:24
that biofilter's aeroponically
10:27
controlled, and it's autonomous.
10:27
So it's software controlled with
10:32
all of the sensor technology
10:32
that we've inputted into it
10:36
coming back to our
10:36
cloud-connected, we have an app,
10:40
it tells people what the air is
10:40
in the building, how the air is
10:43
being cleaned as it comes in, as
10:43
as it leaves. Once it goes
10:46
through the biofilter and all
10:46
these sensors, it goes through
10:50
this chamber I was just talking
10:50
about where any viruses,
10:54
bacteria are denatured before
10:54
the air is put back into a room.
10:59
And the central technology tells
10:59
our clients and us of exactly
11:04
how the air is being cleaned.
11:06
So at first, we might think you
11:06
can only patent the unit as a
11:10
whole. But as we started to
11:10
educate ourselves, we realized,
11:14
there's a, it's almost like Lego
11:14
of how you can fit together all
11:19
of your patents to create a
11:19
portfolio that will be useful
11:23
not only to when you're looking
11:23
for investment, but one of the
11:27
best things that I was told was,
11:27
"Think about how and who you
11:30
want to exit to." If you plan on
11:30
selling your company in the
11:34
future, what IP might they be
11:34
interested in purchasing that
11:39
will increase the valuation of
11:39
your company?
11:41
So for instance, in our area, we
11:41
are developing the Sentinel,
11:46
which is a freestanding
11:46
commercial air purifier. But our
11:50
big goal is to develop an
11:50
HVAC-integrated air purifier
11:55
that will connect to the AHU and
11:55
circulate all of the air in a
12:00
building. So for our exit, we
12:00
would be looking to HVAC, large
12:06
HVAC companies. What type of IP
12:06
would they want? Because a large
12:11
HVAC company is not going to
12:11
purchase or acquire a company
12:17
unless it's doing 50 million in
12:17
sales. For us to jump to 50
12:22
million in sales, it's going to
12:22
take a long time. But with the
12:24
correct IP that they want to
12:24
acquire, they might acquire our
12:28
company when it's at 10 million
12:28
in sales if it has IP that it
12:33
can add to its portfolio. So for
12:33
instance, with our sensor
12:38
technology and how it connects
12:38
with the building management
12:41
system, that's a piece of IP we
12:41
want to think about.
12:45
So back to the list of what I
12:45
would do, the steps I would take
12:50
is maybe before hiring a patent
12:50
agent, talk to your industry
12:54
technical advisor, try to speak
12:54
to an IP-focused advisor. Then
13:00
one other step, our company is
13:00
still pre-commercial. We're just
13:03
starting sales at this point.
13:03
We've only raised a pre-seed
13:07
round. We've opened a seed round
13:07
now. So before you have 75,000
13:13
in sales, you can also apply for
13:13
Canada Export. So Export Canada
13:19
will fund patents overseas. So
13:19
if you're planning on going
13:24
global, or even to the United
13:24
States, this is a very important
13:28
step. Because patents are very
13:28
expensive.
13:32  Christina Sjahli
Yeah. That is
13:32
what I gonna ask you. How did
13:36
you finance this?
13:37  Susan Blanchet
Our first patent
13:37
we applied for in June was
13:41
covered by a grant from the
13:41
Innovation Asset Collective.
13:43
We've applied for, and not
13:43
received yet but are hopeful,
13:48
with the Export Canada for
13:48
funding to cover some of our
13:52
overseas grants. There is the
13:52
PCT. It's a patent agreement
13:58
across 200 nations. Under the
13:58
PCT you have 30 months to decide
14:05
where you want to register. It's
14:05
kind of a placeholder. So that
14:09
if someone else has developed
14:09
the same thing, as long as you
14:13
register before them, yours is
14:13
held. Then you have 30 months to
14:17  decide
Am I going to register
14:17
in the United States, in Canada,
14:23
overseas?
14:24
So we are at a point right now
14:24
where we've been having to make
14:28
the decision of where we're
14:28
going to register this IP.
14:31
Canada and US is an easy
14:31
decision. But as an early-stage
14:35
company, we're probably still 12
14:35
to 18 months before we are
14:39
globally selling product in
14:39
Southeast Asia, which is our
14:43
target market. So we're having
14:43
to pick and choose which
14:47
countries we want to register
14:47
in. Each country is about
14:51
$10,000. You have to pay for
14:51
translation fees. You have to
14:56
pay for the registration of the
14:56
IP. And each country is
15:01
different. Like, for instance,
15:01
several of them are under the
15:04
PCT. Taiwan is not. It's too
15:04
much for a CEO to figure out on
15:09
their own. So that's why the
15:09
patent agent is key. You need a
15:13
patent agent that has gone to
15:13
school for 10 years to figure
15:18
this out.
15:18  Christina Sjahli
So is a patent
15:18
agent also a lawyer?
15:22  Susan Blanchet
No, they aren't.
15:22
The patent agent is not a
15:24
lawyer. Oftentimes, a patent
15:24
agent is also trained as an
15:30
engineer. Or you want to find a
15:30
patent agent that is trained in
15:34
the area that you want to
15:34
register IP in. For instance, we
15:41
are registering IP more in
15:41
mechanical and linked also, with
15:45
our next IP being our biofilter,
15:45
we want someone with some
15:49
expertise with plants or
15:49
agricultural. So it's very key
15:54
to find out if your patent agent
15:54
has the background that you
15:59
require, because they need to
15:59
know the subject matter that
16:03
they're going to be filing the
16:03
intellectual property in.
16:06
There's a lot of writing. Our
16:06
patent application, it's like a
16:10
scientific report. It has to be
16:10
somebody with a background in
16:14
the area you're filing.
16:16  Christina Sjahli
The role of a
16:16
patent agent, if you can explain
16:20
that a little bit more.
16:20
Basically, they do the research
16:23
for you?
16:24  Susan Blanchet
Yes. So our
16:24
patent agent on our first patent
16:28
came in, met us in our office,
16:28
sat down with our engineers.
16:33
Because at the time, I have a
16:33
young engineering team as a
16:35
startup. At the time, when I
16:35
told them, I was wanting us to
16:40
develop our IP strategy. They
16:40
kind of looked at me like, "How
16:45
are we going to get IP? This is
16:45
normal." Because engineers'
16:48
brains think novel things are
16:48
just normal, right? They don't
16:52
really understand that they are
16:52
creating something unique and
16:55
inventive. This comes back to at
16:55
the beginning of our
16:58
conversation, when I said it's
16:58
more like an art, even though it
17:01
involves so much science.
17:04
The intricacy of how there can
17:04
be a novel difference comes down
17:09
to the details. So he would
17:09
explain the details of what they
17:15
needed to show him to be able to
17:15
be successful when he was
17:22
defending the patent, once the
17:22
investigator has started to ask
17:27
questions. So for instance,
17:27
using our filed IP as an
17:31
example, if they had just said,
17:31
"Oh, air comes in, flies around,
17:35
and goes out." We never would be
17:35
successful. But he explained the
17:39
nuances of how important it was
17:39
that the baffle system would
17:43
speed up and slow down air at
17:43
certain points that were close
17:47
to the LEDs, allowing it to more
17:47
quickly denature the bacteria or
17:54
the viruses. It comes around,
17:54
again, to the importance of
17:57
engineers to have the patent
17:57
education.
18:01  Christina Sjahli
I think the
18:01
patent agent is that is the
18:03
role, they the one that need to
18:03
tell you how much is enough,
18:07
right? They did the research,
18:07
figure out like out of this big
18:12
system, which pieces can be
18:12
patent-worthy. After that, they
18:17
submit the application, and then
18:17
they basically sit down with the
18:21
inspector and argue why it's
18:21
patent-worthy. Is there anything
18:27
else that I'm missing here?
18:28  Susan Blanchet
They kind of
18:28
translates the engineering
18:31
technical language into still
18:31
technical but something that's
18:35
very able to follow and
18:35
something that follows the rules
18:40
that are required by the
18:40
registry, the patent registry.
18:44
There's also one more piece. My
18:44
patent agent is very good at
18:48
individual pieces. But there's
18:48
also a strategy piece. That's
18:54
where the Innovation Asset
18:54
Collective comes in. They've got
18:57
strategists who will really sit
18:57
with you and help you to think
19:01
about what pieces you need,
19:01
instead of just figuring out how
19:06
to file specific pieces. So it's
19:06
really sitting down with a
19:10
strategist and a patent agent
19:10
nd trying to figure out your
19:14
hole strategy of what pieces yo
19:14
want, at what time. Patents ar
19:19
only one piece of it
19:20
There's other things like trade
19:20
secrets, when you wouldn't want
19:21
someone to know the intricacies
19:21
of what you're doing. Whereas, t
19:22
e patent, people can read it
19:22
nd see exactly what we've
19:31
eveloped, which makes it very
19:31
ble for them to copy it. At
19:36
irst I got quite nervous
19:36
ecause I hadn't filed the
19:39
atents on any parts of the
19:39
entinel Air Purifier. But we
19:45
ad done one article in a
19:45
agazine, and I had someone say
19:51
"Oh, as soon as you publish it
19:51
you can't file a patent on it.
19:55
But it's not that cut and dry
19:55
You shouldn't, just for the th
19:59
new startup entrepreneurs here
19:59
you shouldn't be publishin
20:03
anything that you might put
20:03
patent on, just to be extr
20:06
safe. But with ours, because i
20:06
was just kind of a rendering
20:11
drawing of the Sentinel, and i
20:11
wasn't a picture of the insid
20:15
working parts of the UV
20:15
chamber, we could still file
20:20
But there is legalities aroun
20:20
that, and to be safe, before y
20:25
u publish anything on somethi
20:25
g you want to file a patent o
20:28
, talk to a patent agent or an
20:28
P lawye
20:32  Christina Sjahli
I feel just
20:32
like listening to you talking
20:34
about this, there has got to be
20:34
like one exclusive department
20:39
within your company just dealing
20:39
with IP.
20:43  Susan Blanchet
Yes, I
20:43
completely agree with you. I
20:46
think we've talked about it with
20:46
the IAC collective. Quite
20:50
surprising that there isn't more
20:50
IP courses for engineers.
20:54
Because people think of IP as a
20:54
legal area. I think of it, it's
20:58
as much engineering as legal. It
20:58
should be a joint course between
21:03
the two that is ongoing. I don't
21:03
know the percentage, but I would
21:07
guess that a large percentage of
21:07
patent agents are engineers.
21:12  Christina Sjahli
I agree with
21:12
you. I think there's got to be a
21:14
collaboration between engineers
21:14
and the legal team for IP. It
21:19
would be interesting for myself,
21:19
for myself as a finance person,
21:24
I would be interested to know,
21:24
right? Because at the end of the
21:29
day, the way I view it, any
21:29
business decision, there's going
21:32
to be financial implication. And
21:32
if the finance person understand
21:38
how it works, and then what is
21:38
going on in this intellectual
21:42
property journey, then the
21:42
finance person can also be
21:46
strategic in advising the type
21:46
of decision to be made by the
21:51
company.
21:52  Susan Blanchet
Yes and it also
21:52
falls into the budgeting, right?
21:55
So our finance manager, she's
21:55
very involved in our budgeting
22:00
decisions, and definitely, I wa
22:00
t her to understand the I
22:04  Christina Sjahli
A lot of
22:04
businesses or female founders or
22:07
other founders, think of finance
22:07
in a silo. The truth is, if at
22:12
he end of the day, what you
22:12
re going to show to inv
22:15
stors or you yourself, as the
22:15
founder, you will look at the
22:20
financial statements. Then it
22:20
s kind of like a bucket of info
22:23
mation from all the decisio
22:23
-making within the company
22:27
Then, for sure, the finance
22:27
person needs to know what is
22:32
going on in the IP, maybe n
22:32
t to the detail of the enginee
22:36
, but at least at a very high le
22:36
el, and then what is the impact,
22:40
and then how that finance perso
22:40
can help in making the best d
22:44
cision for the company.
22:46  Susan Blanchet
I completely
22:46
agree with you. I think it has
22:50
to be like you say, more than
22:50
just the surface level, they
22:53
need to know at least the
22:53
strategy that we have in place
22:59
and how we're going to go
22:59
forward. For instance, we are
23:02
applying for another piece of IP
23:02
this quarter. Then we're also
23:08
registering our first IP, the
23:08
plants, all over the world and
23:14
trying to decide where we're
23:14
going to do that. My finance
23:17
manager's tied in because that's
23:17
going to cost $50,000 to do five
23:22
countries. Very quickly, you
23:22
realize you can't go to
23:26
everywhere you want to go. If
23:26
I'm focusing on Indonesia and
23:31
Singapore, but I also want to go
23:31
to China and Philippines and
23:37
India. How do I choose? And I
23:37
have to do Canada and the US
23:43
that's 70 to 80,000 for a
23:43
startup. I can't do that. And I
23:47
have to register those before
23:47
the time limit or else like I
23:51
lose my chance. So you have to
23:51
choose, and some of those
23:55
choices might be wrong. But you
23:55
have to weigh all of the
24:01
different potential yeses and
24:01
noes.
24:04  Christina Sjahli
So far, if you
24:04
can summarize, what are the
24:09
benefits that you have seen
24:09
about having an IP strategy in
24:14
place?
24:14  Susan Blanchet
Yes, several
24:14
benefits. So it's important for
24:18
raising and it's important for
24:18
receiving grants. I kept getting
24:23
denied for grants in Canada
24:23
because it was a US patent. This
24:29
is important because there was a
24:29
couple of other grants we'd
24:33
applied for that had asked about
24:33
IP and large Government of
24:38
Canada grants. You know, that's
24:38
one of the main questions. A
24:42
couple of them specifically
24:42
asked for Canadian IP. Because I
24:46
know one of the mandates for the
24:46
IP collective, which is what
24:50
funds IAC is to increase
24:50
Canadian IP. So I highly
24:55
recommend Canadian founders to
24:55
think about a Canadian IP
25:00
strategy.
25:01
The other beauty of the IAC is
25:01
it's a collective. So they
25:05
purchase outside IP that you
25:05
can, as part of the collective,
25:10
use in your company. So if you
25:10
can find like-minded founders
25:16
that have similar interests to
25:16
your company, you can actually
25:19
have use of IP without having to
25:19
pay to get it, which is another
25:24
incredible piece. So that was
25:24
one big wake-up call it was last
25:30
December, we got turned down for
25:30
the SDTC Seed Fund. I had
25:35
everything else in place. They
25:35
needed you to raise a minimum, I
25:40
had raised over $200,000,
25:40
250,000, from seed fund
25:45
investors or pre-seed, and
25:45
everything else. I thought we
25:51
were a shoo-in. Then in our
25:51
interview afterwards, when we
25:56
were denied the seed fund, they
25:56
said, "Two things you're
26:01  missing
one, in house IP. Come
26:01
back to us next year with IP."
26:08
And two, they wanted to have a
26:08
known investor. Every pitch I've
26:13
done, they ask about IP. They
26:13
may not necessarily look into it
26:17
at the pitch, but during due
26:17
diligence, they're going to want
26:20
to see the contracts you have
26:20
surrounding your intellectual
26:23
property.
26:24  Christina Sjahli
If you can say
26:24
the lesson that you learned in
26:27
your financing journey, what can
26:27
you share with my audience?
26:31  Susan Blanchet
Well, I would
26:31
say speaking as a female
26:33
founder, the first pre-seed,
26:33
pre-commercial round is
26:38
extremely difficult, we came
26:38
very close to the wire, and
26:44
sticking to your guns, sticking
26:44
to your gut, I completely can't
26:50
emphasize enough how much you
26:50
need someone who is either a CPA
26:55
or formally trained with
26:55
financials, statements, and
27:02
performance to be there, holding
27:02
your hand and helping you
27:06
through. So you need someone who
27:06
knows how to raise a round. I
27:12
would just call and discuss what
27:12
was going on with this person,
27:17
more just having the backup.
27:17
Like, you know, "Your gut is
27:21
right. You do not want to go
27:21
ahead with this." Even though
27:24
it's really hard sometimes when
27:24
you're getting close to the
27:28
edge, which all startups do, and
27:28
you're worried that you're not
27:32
going to hit your payroll in a
27:32
few months, having someone that
27:37
you can talk to about whether or
27:37
not it's a good idea.
27:42
Also, you have to be able to hit
27:42
the hard questions quickly. It
27:47
was just a very simple, I call
27:47
them like gatekeeper questions,
27:51
like ask those gatekeeper
27:51
questions first. Tell them what
27:55
your valuation is. Tell them how
27:55
much you're raising and what
27:59
percentage of the company that
27:59
would be if it's an equity
28:03
round. Or if you're raising on a
28:03
convertible note or a safe, tell
28:08
them what the discount is. If
28:08
they're not interested, get rid
28:12
of them fast. There's no point
28:12
stringing along someone that
28:15
you're never going to have a
28:15
deal with and wasting your time.
28:17  Christina Sjahli
Susan, this
28:17
has been a pleasure. I would
28:22
love for you to tell my audience
28:22
where can people find you?
28:27  Susan Blanchet
Come check us
28:27
out at origenair.com. That's
28:32
o-r-i-g-e-n-a-i-r dot com. We
28:32
are a startup of about 18
28:39
employees now located in
28:39
Victoria, British Columbia, and
28:45
soon coming to places near you.
28:45
Our focus is commercial
28:48
buildings. Hopefully, you will
28:48
see our beautiful Sentinel,
28:52
cleaning the air around you
28:52
soon.
28:55  Christina Sjahli
Thank you so
28:55
much, Susan.
28:56  Susan Blanchet
Thank you so
28:56
much. It was an absolute
28:58
pleasure, Christina.
29:01  Christina Sjahli
And that's
29:01
bring us to the end of another
29:03
show. Thank you so much for
29:03
listening to another episode of
29:07
Her CEO Journey, the business
29:07
finance podcast for women
29:11
entrepreneurs. If you want to
29:11
create a proactive financial
29:15
plan and process for your
29:15
business so you are ready to
29:19
weather the financial storm over
29:19
the next few months, let's chat
29:23
and see what's possible for you.
29:23
Book in a time to speak with me
29:27
at
29:27
christinasjahli.com/lets-chat.