Marketing, Financial Issues Sometimes Sink Brilliant Ideas

The science and innovation sector is growing locally, with Nanaimo companies and individuals taking nine of 14 awards categories earlier this month at the fifth annual MISTIC Science, Technology & Innovations awards banquet.

Inventions can fail when their creators misread market demand. Marketing is one reason Nanaimo robotic inspection equipment manufacturer Inunktun is so successful.

"One of the challenges in my operation is not deciding what market to be in, it's deciding what market we don't want to be in," said Colin Ross, sales and marketing manager. "It's finding clients interested in saving money by using a robot."

A marketer can bridge the gap with manufacturers, distributors and retailers, by convincing people of a product's worth.

After several years spent developing his handheld personal security devices, David Norman realizes he needs an investor. After spending more than $200,000 developing his idea, he's enlisting the help of a business coach.

"I have to do what I'm good at in life and I'm good at engineering and inventing," Norman said.

"The business side of things I'm not really good at . . . I'm trying to feel my way along, and I need help."

Inventors can become so attached to their creations they become blind to the need for investment capital, which can cost missed opportunities.

"We call it artist integrity," Harasymthuk said. "They think of what they have as absolutely great and everyone should have one, but they're afraid to lose it."

Author Darrell Bellaart, Nanaimo Daily News
Published: Monday, November 22, 2010