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It’s been 10 years since Gowling WLG first partnered with LiONS LAIR – a Hamilton-based pitch competition that merges entrepreneurship with innovation in an exciting forum. Given the current state of the world, offering sound advice to new businesses is as important as ever.

The forthcoming edition of LiON’S LAIR, presented by the Innovation Factory in partnership with the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development department, will pit 16 upstart entrepreneurial teams against each other over a four-day competition slated for late-September.

Teams will pitch judges (also known as Pillar of Business LiONS) and compete head-head in a single elimination tournament. Myself and two other local business leaders, Aaron Gillespie (tax partner, KPMG) and Chantel Broten (president & CEO, Jan Kelley), will be serving as judges.

While the format may be different – this year’s affair is taking place entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic – it will be no less exhilarating for all of us.

Here are three helpful tips any new business should consider as they look to commercialize their inventions:

Think about commercialization vs licensing

Are you well-equipped to develop and market a technology or innovation on your own? Would it be more fruitful to go the licensing route with an established commercial party? This is a key factor to consider when commercializing any new invention.

Expand governance and control

Consider implementing a strong governance structure that is attractive to investors. This will allow you to attract talented management down the line. Remember, there is real value in relinquishing some control to a board of directors – especially when it is composed of members with complementary expertise and interests.

Understand the regulatory environment

Gaining a strong understanding of the regulatory framework in which you operate can become a real competitive advantage. Retaining sound legal counsel can help you better understand that framework, which may, in turn, provide a leg-up on industry competitors.

The LiONS LAIR pitch competition will be delivered as a virtual, bracket-style tournament from September 21-24. Want to learn more about the finalists? Click here.

Sacha Babic is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Hamilton office. He acts for and advises private sector clients of all sizes (from startups to multinationals) with respect to all aspects of corporate and commercial law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate organization & restructuring, and private equity.

Categories: LION'S LAIR 2020

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