My idea works with the help of major companies, however, Im afraid if I share it with them they may steal the idea. I know there isnt much I can do to protect myself from this happening. My question is, should I just roll the dice and share the idea to see if they can help? I need a website designer, a financial institution and one other major company for my site. I know I have something here but I just want to do it the right way....any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
This is almost a FAQ: no one will think your idea is worth pursuing. Feel free to approach major companies, they will not care. They certainly have better things to do than change their plans and work on a half-baked idea offered by someone outside the company.
That being said, with perseverance, you may be able to convince someone to care enough to let you run with it. Don't worry, they won't run with it, you will have to do all the work, and that's why your startup has a chance to win.
Well the idea is only a small piece of the puzzle.
The rest is your continued vision, your drive, your ability to get the job done, your ability to tie all the various players together given each of them a reason for being there.
So ... the key protection you have is that you are doing it NOW and, if they think you have it or almost have it, they are better to back you than start themselves, going through all the pain of working out the details ... which someone who doesn't have the vision really isn't as likely to achieve.
Thus, start a company, employ the web developer ideally with some stock so they are on side. Convince the finance institution and other company, with a demo, that you are very close and its in their interests to back you in "tailoring it to their needs". For which, the benefits to them will be ... (lots of cash or more clients or something).
Additional bit I remember about 10 years ago, a scientist came to us, bunch of software developers, to get an idea of costs and effort required to implement a very good idea he had. He was so worried about people stealing his idea that he ended up not telling anybody (including us) and the idea just sat on the shelf ...
We didn't steal it because we only knew the software part, we didn't know the market, we didn't know the science background and we had a whole bunch of other stuff to do (plus it wasn't our idea).