It was not until I went to university for nursing did I realise we are an innovative lot. From pacemakers, penicillin, bionic ears, ultrasound machines, yep those are all Aussie inventions.
However being an Aussie inventor has many pitfalls.
The difficulties I’ve encountered being an inventor in Australia; it’s expensive to get your patent and trademark done in all countries. Then when you’re trying to get funded for your project, it’s difficult to reach your market because Australia has a smaller population than most other countries and so if you’re not patented in those countries, you risk your idea being stolen in the process of raising funds.
My invention specifically relates to mums, and mums aren’t known to be big in the crowdfunding crowd. The first time I attempted crowdfunding, I had a lot of people saying things like “I’ll order one when they come out” and didn’t really understand how crowdfunding and pre-ordering worked. Kickstarter’s main market is gamers and men. There isn’t a lot of mums and parents who know the problems related to baby goods unless they have experienced it for themselves.
This time I made it clear in my video and my FAQ the importance of crowdfunding to try and inform my market as well as build trust.
Australians have a large history of being able to invent things. They are willing to put in the hard work and expect not to be paid. As a lot of innovators and inventors know, you can’t rush innovation.
I’m thinking of my husband’s cousin who invented UGG boot. The UGG boot was a product he needed and knew there were others like himself that would love it. He sold it for peanuts in the eighties because in his words he “just wanted to surf”.
We often have an unconventional attitude to business and success. We often just want to make a process easier and don’t care too much about it being profitable. We love sharing our invention with the world with the goal of sharing our passion.
The Aussie mums I’ve come across have also had similar issues with trying to reach their market, having the time and money needed to access the overseas market, and therefore struggle with the balance of work and family life, as well as being stuck in a country where your population is limited and overseas have more opportunities for growth and development.
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