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“Startups need to remember the importance of having an IP strategy from an initial stage”
"Startups need to remember the importance of having an IP strategy from an initial stage"

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PONS IP, Spain’s leading global consultancy firm specialising in Intellectual Property, and VACIERO, a national firm offering legal, economic-financial and auditing services, brought together some of the leading startup experts at the PONS Foundation at a meeting aimed at discussing and presenting solutions for companies to optimise the development of their own innovations.

The startup ecosystem is in a period of development and it is therefore necessary to address some of the most relevant issues that can put these companies in a position with a competitive advantage on the market. With this in mind, the meeting ‘The road from startup to big company: Intangible assets, Financing and Legal Challenges’ was led by world class experts such as Nuria Marcos, CEO of PONS IP, and Cristian Ull, Co-Founder of Área 101. It brought together leading experts in the legal field of startups, including Luis Ignacio Vicente, Strategic Advisor at PONS IP, Amaya Mallea, Legal Advisor for R&D&I at PONS IP; Miguel Ángel Herrera, Commercial Lawyer at VACIERO; Abel Fernández, Business Innovation Consulting Partner at VACIERO; Raquel Ballestero, Corporate and Audit Director at VACIERO; Alberto Moratiel, Head of Startup Services at Enisa; and Kilian Zaragozá, CEO and Founder of Naria.

The meeting began with an interview session led by Cristian Ull. Raquel Ballestero, Abel Fernández, Miguel Ángel Herrera and Amaya Mallea also spoke.

Fernández mentioned that “just as in the past when public-private collaboration was promoted in R&D&I projects, we must be aware of the new trend originating in corporate-startup business alliances, better known as Open Innovation, which gives the company the innovation capacity and versatility of a startup, and gives the startup the financial impulse and sector know-how of the company. For this to happen, we must provide these collaborations with the necessary solvency and comfort for both parties, defending the economic, legal and intellectual property interests of both.

In the next round of interviews, Amaya Mallea emphasised the processes that startups must respect. “It is important that, from an initial stage, start-ups protect everything that they consider relevant and can help them. An assessment of the market, technologies or associated rights is key. This helps us to define the market niche on which to focus our activity. In addition, a study by the Patent Office concludes that those entities with brands receive more funding. In the end, funding is based on the confidence conveyed to investors.”

The panel discussion, moderated by Nuria Marcos, brought together Luis Ignacio Vicente, Abel Fernández, Alberto Moratel and Kilian Zaragozá.

In this startup funding panel, Luis Ignacio Vicente emphasised the idea launched earlier by Amaya Mallea. “What used to be intuition is now an ascertainment. Startups that have patents and protect their brand get up to five times more funding. Something that companies did not really take into account is proving to be a key element when it comes to growth and achieving a good position on the market,” stressed the Strategic Advisor.

Finally, the speakers concluded that what is important for startups is to have the trust of investors and for investors to understand their circumstances. Startups have to rely on both timing and long-term work. They have scientific and research expertise, but may sometimes need help in the economic and financial fields, and this has to come from investors.

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