Tom Rand, Co-Founder of Planet Traveler, North America's greenest hotel, gives Future360 the inside scoop on mistakes to avoid when starting a new company. Tips include locking in IP, having strong management teams and being alert!
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is not locking down their IP early. Patents are worth it. When you are a start-up, $20K seems like a lot of money, but it’s worth using it to lock down your IP because that’s what’s going to make you investable and that’s what’s going to give you some protection down the road. Management teams matter. If you’re an inventor, you might be better off as a CTO. You do need grey hairs at the table with shiny shoes who speak MBA speak -- there’s value in that. The founders need to recognize what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are and form a team around them. Finally, don’t show up to work hung over everyday. You’ll make bad decisions.
Tom Rand is a global thought leader with a recognized record of extraordinary achievement in the promotion of a low carbon economy. A green entrepreneur, investor, advisor, public speaker, and author, Rand’s ambition is to help bring clean technology to life.
Currently Rand is the Cleantech Lead Advisor at MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, Canada where he helps the next generation of cleantech companies grow to global leadership. Rand is also founder and director of VCi Green Funds, a seed and venture capital fund in the low-carbon sector. www.tomrand.net