This Thursday I will be filming for a Canadian TV show where I will be pitching my software to 5 Canadian millionaires to invest in. The TV show won't air until September.
The software is ridiculously basic and it is for sports teams, specifically football and basketball teams. I made this in Adobe Flash using Actionscript.
I have been selling the software mostly to sports teams in the USA, including University teams for $20. I have sold only 32 copies ($640), but I don't advertise. I just write articles on the subject.
I have no patent on this software, since I have been doing this casually. Is it a bad idea to go on this TV show and ask them for money for a software patent? Or should I be asking for money for marketing or other things? Is it unreasonable to ask for money for a patent?
I also have no idea how much I should ask for. Apparently a US software patent (where most of our market is) is about $15,000.
I know absolutely nothing about software patents, but if it matters no other software exists that does this exact thing (however it could be easily duplicated).
Ok the protection issue is going to come up, you can probably say that is part of what you are seeking funding to cover.
AS others have pointed out the real questions will come around
How are you going to sell it? Once of price, per month subscription, per user subscription?
How big is your market?
A comment mentions 2000 clients which is not enough for the price tag, but you could do a per user which may be 2000 users in 2000 uni's @ $5 per month ... now that is worth listening too ... or it could be free to these users with targeted sports related advertising aimed at the exact user, which is a valuable demographic to the right advertiser.
NOTE: The current price and current market you can say is a beta/early adoptors price but you need a better answer to the question.
How much of that market can you capture in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years?
Its useless if you can only sign on 1 per month because thats only 24 new ones per year ... unless your charging $75,000+ per install you won't cover your costs ... seriously I know :)
Realistically can you sign up 100 new users per day for 24 months ... again worth listening too.
Do you have others who can help you grow?
As you grow you will not just be developing and blogging (well not if you have investors, if your going solo then sure). You will be doing marketing, sales, support, PR trips, trade shows ... oh and development too. Each of these take time and specific skillsets, which cost money, which is why your asking for funding.
Have a read of my answer on this question about what it takes in a startup. Do the work to know these numbers ... the answer you come up with is how much you should be asking for.
To wrap up :
Do NOT talk about the functions or features of your product, they don't care much ... if the market likes them enough to buy it that is all you need to cover as far as the technology is concerned.
Do look at the benefits to the market, it allows them to do SO MUCH more. My advice is ring up or email all of your current 32 end users and ask them
This is a set of broad brush strokes to give you a feel for what you need to do to prep for this thing.
Focus on your product. Asking for investment in a patent is a no-go. The patent is completely useless if the product doesn't sell and if you don't have the backing to actually litigate with it.