Start Bridge Manifesto

Innovators come in many forms. They are inventors preparing prototypes in their garage; university student groups mentored by incubators to run spin-off startups; mid-career domain experts leaving full-time jobs to launch new ventures addressing specific industrial pain points; or team members in the innovation departments of large organizations, mandated to monetize corporate research and development. All those innovators go through a similar, often frustrating and complicated process of convincing peers, partners, investors, and clients of the value of innovation in terms of technology readiness, commercialization models, competitive scoping, market size and fit, or intellectual property.

Pitching innovation is frustrating because intrinsic risk associated with a specific innovation puts innovators in a disadvantageous and unequal negotiating position. Innovators spend most of their time and effort de-risking their venture by leveraging their own experience, past successes, proofs-of-concept, patents, first clients’ referrals, and so on.

This results in a very asymmetrical situation, similar to a court room, where the innovator takes on the “accused” role and must overcome doubts and reservations expressed by his or her audience, fighting many cognitive biases against new things. It is all about creating trust. On the other side, the targeted audience takes on the “accuser” role, evaluating innovation based on their own expertise, interest, and experience.

Start Bridge’s idea is to assist innovators in marketing time-limited commercial offerings (“bridges”), to bridge the divide between them and their intended audience. Innovators can invite their professional network to review and comment on those offerings before introducing them to the marketplace. Bridges will help innovators promote, evaluate, and monetize their innovations while building their reputations. Our motive is to shift the “accused” versus “accuser” landscape into “seller” and “buyer” relationships, while leveraging existing and widely proven sales techniques.

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