Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Startup offering shares for my technology -how to evaluate?

  1. Apr 22, 2015 #1
    Long story short, I built a prototype of a medical device in about 2 months, and it turns out a local start-up company has been working on something similar for over a year. They want to "buy" the prototype in exchange for some share of the company and a (probably underpaid) position. Since I already have more reliable employment offers for after graduation, and my product would be critical to their success, I was planning to negotiate for something better.

    However, I'm not sure what measures to look for in evaluating the company, what to ask for, or how to determine what other investors would pay for my product. I'm willing to do a lot of research on this, but I'm not sure where to start. Could anyone point me in the right direction?

    So far, I was planning on asking for a reasonable equity share (similar to the founder's share) , investor contact, and a VP title. Is this reasonable, or should I be looking for more?

    If this is the wrong sub-forum, I apologize, but the topic didn't seem to fit in any of the others.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2015 #2
    Generally for a prototyped item the renumeration is 6% of wholesale cost. If you already have regular buyers and have done extra work finding manufacturers you'll have to just add those figures on top to find the total worth of your product.
  4. Apr 22, 2015 #3
    Thanks for the reply!

    Perhaps prototype isn't the right word. I'm not offering the physical prototype, but rather the design of it with source code. It's primarily a software product. This product is what the start-up set out to design, and to this point they have been unable to make one work, which is why I think I can leverage more from them.
  5. Apr 22, 2015 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Maybe you can lease it. That way you keep the rights. But, if you haven't patented it...
  6. Apr 22, 2015 #5
    It sounds like you have massive leverage. The worth of what you have is solely based on future sales, so I would still go for a percentage and offer a few trouble shooting days software wise, and whatever else you want basically. You'll have to haggle face to face, there is no other proper way to do it from my experience, I personally would start at 40% and go down to 20% if pushed. They still have a hell of a lot of stuff to do by the sounds of things, and organising manufacturing is unbelievably expensive and time consuming. I don't use the word unbelievably lightly either having done it myself. Make sure you can access the sales figures as the temptation to lie for them is immense. Also put yourself in their shoes. If you had to buy an idea and 50% of your profits were going to someone who was basically doing nothing is just not on - not from a maths perspective - but from a psychological one.
  7. Apr 24, 2015 #6
    If you're not sure what you're doing and half-sure of what you have and what it's worth, which is what seems to be the case, then I would advise contacting a patent attorney, someone who who has experience in these matters and has the legal resources to enforce any deal that's put together. If your invention is as significant as you present it to be, then going into a negotiation on your own to save a few bucks is foolishness.
  8. Apr 25, 2015 #7
    A good point above. Even appoint a neutral intermediary?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook