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I Have an Invention Idea but No Money

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What happens if you have an amazing invention idea, but don’t have the money to start working on it?

Are you out of luck?  Not really.

In today’s guide, I wanted to talk about what you can do if you want to bring your invention to life.  Yes, there are options, and I promise they are as legit.   If you have a great invention idea, but you don’t have the money, there are solutions.  You just need to know where to look.

If you’re new here, you can be assured that I only inform you, and it’s the main reason I created this website.  You won’t find me pushing junk products that cost $100+ nor will you see me bombarding you with ads.  I don’t want to work that way.  I just want to help educate.

So, if you need more money for your invention ideas, strap in as there are a few to consider.

Let’s begin!

Search for a Grant

Similar to searching for a college scholarship, a grant can work in the same way, where you don’t have to pay it back.  You just need to know where to find it.

Believe it or not, there are invention grants, where foundations/organizations will help fund your idea as well as help you apply for a patent, all while covering the costs.

Out of all the sources out there, I would say a federal grant is your best option, and I would recommend you check out Grants.gov, which is a grant-based website that allows you to search grants from various grant offices.  Take your time to explore the site and see if any grants are available that suit your needs.  There are a ton of options to consider, so be prepared to invest your time researching.

Another option is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) website, which works with federal agencies to help fund inventions that have commercial interest.



Work With Non-Profits

Aside from grants and working with the governments, non-profits provide grant opportunities as well.  To find these non-profits, I recommend you check out the United Inventors Association website, which helps you connect with inventors clubs in your area.

If you’re in college, the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance awards grants as long as it has commercial potential and will make a positive impact on society.

Take it one step further and find a non-profit in the industry related to your invention.  Many times, non-profits will offer grants to promote/invest in inventions they are interested in.

Take Out a Loan

Even if you don’t have the best credit in the world, there are loan options online that will allow you to borrow up to $10,000.  In some cases, you can get your money in as little as 48 hours, depending on who you choose.

Known as peer-to-peer lending platforms, people, such as yourself, will loan you a portion of what you need.  In exchange for their cash donation, you will pay interest, which will go to them, rather than a bank.  It’s truly a win-win for both parties.  You get paid, they make money on their money.

And, how much you pay in interest will greatly depend on your credit score profile.  The higher your credit score, the less you will pay in interest.  Again, you don’t need the best credit, but keep in mind that you won’t have an attractive rate.

There are a lot of options to consider, but some of the bigger options to check out include Propser, SoFi, LendingClub and Peerform.  These are all great options as alternatives to help you get a loan for your invention journey.

Consider Angel Investors

Angel investors will sponsor inventions with smaller investments, ranging from $10,0000 to $150,000, however, in exchange for the investment, they will look for a financial return.  This is usually a small percentage of your invention, but other methods work as well.

If you’re interested in working with an investor, it’s very important that create a professional business plan to detail your invention as well as any details they should know about it.  The more they know and the more serious you are, the greater your chances of getting a donation may be.

To find these investors, there are a ton of them out there, so what I would recommend is that you search for angel investors in your area or even consult with the local Chamber of Commerce, as they may have leads.

Ask Friends or Family

Of course, you can always ask friends or family to at least help you with the patent process.  While you’re not going to ask them for the money outright and never pay them back, you could treat them as an investor or a loan.

To make them feel safe, consider creating a contract, letting them know the details of the transaction.  As long as you plan on paying them back, this could be one of the better options out there.  But, of course, you have to find someone willing to help you out.

Final Thoughts

If you have an invention idea, but you don’t have the money, don’t let it stop you from your dreams, as there are options available.  From asking friends and family to finding local investors, it’s going to take some work.  But, if you read any success stories out there about just about any entrepreneur, nothing comes easy.

At a minimum, make sure you keep documentation and heavily research your invention to make sure no one else has considered it.  Generally, the patent database is a good place to start and it’s free to search.  If it looks like your invention is good to go, then I highly encourage you to at least file for a patent to protect your works.

That’s going to wrap it up.

As always, if you have any options that I’m missing or maybe you want to comment on the methods mentioned, you’re more than welcome to comment below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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