|Attractive, but vulnerable to predators|
|Good for Little Red Riding-|
Hood? The Ruit backwards
backpack, via Kickstarter
Both Unicorns and crowd-funded ventures attract publicity on the traditional and social media to the point at which it can be easy to forget that both phenomena are exceptions: by far the largest proportion of start-ups (there being no such thing as a typical one) have to approach the various suppliers of more typical finance, often repeatedly explaining the same basics to lenders whose assets consist of the money they lend and who are more anxious to see those assets returned with interest than to buy into a borrower's dream.
Can the path for the vast majority of start-ups be made easier? Business plans are often viewed with suspicion since they are drawn up by those who have an interest in raising capital based on them. Few prospective borrowers have yet turned to IP analytics as a means of bolstering the evidence provided by a business plan, by enabling lenders to comprehend and visualise the position of a new product that may not even be on the market, showing how it might establish a niche from which competitors cannot easily dislodge it. As IP analytics gains ground as a discipline and products such as Cipher and its competitors become more widely used and accepted, things may indeed look up for start-up borrowers of all sizes.
For further reading on Unicorns, see "Unicorns: what they are -- and why we should care", here.