Maturing a product without investors is also a viable path

During the past decade, we’ve brought a multitude of products to market. Some even end up getting their own startup to grow from. This, however, doesn’t mean they necessarily need an investor to succeed.

”Løvens Hule” (a Danish version of Shark Tank) has skyrocketed the popularity of startups, and it seems to have become a law of nature that you need investors if you want to be a real entrepreneur. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if you ask us.

Each of our inventions has its own journey from idea to market. Some are developed in partnerships, some are licensed and some end up as their own company. And these dedicated startups can also include both partners and investors.

The latest example, however, is our traverse crane system Conhoist, which is now a company that is exclusively owned by Lolle & Nielsen Inventions. With the help of soft funding and clever partnerships, we’ve managed to mature the project without investor funding.


Open development

Instead of approaching investors with the prototype of Conhoist, we decided to invite industry people to have a look at it and give us their honest feedback. At conferences, we invited the whole world to see it before it was ready or even had the commercial strategy in place. What features were lacking? And would it be best if they could buy or just rent it?

These dialogues have been incredibly valuable – but also forced us to postpone the launch and reiterate multiple times. At our own expense as we funded the project ourselves.

This does however mean we already feel some excitement in the market for Conhoist to launch. And hopefully, this will turn into the first customers once we can officially launch it.

Free to cooperate

We are dedicated product people. We have commercial experience and know the industry very well, which means we have some idea of how to go by the commercial side of Conhoist as well. But, at some point, we clearly need commercial horsepower to boost the project and fulfil its potential.

However, it’s been incredibly satisfying to develop and improve the product at the pace we chose. Outside investments would most likely have meant much more pressure to actually release the product. And while postponing the launch has been frustrating, we also feel like we have a much more valuable platform today by doing so.

We still want partnerships and we might also consider sharing some equity with the right partner or investor. It’s just amazing to have been able to develop the product this far without that added pressure. It makes our hand much stronger in future negotiations, as we’ve already handled the development risk. And this wouldn’t have been possible with a mature company to back Conhoist – which is a very fulfilling position to be in.

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