Crowd­fun­ding and regis­tra­tion of property rights

Nisha Munzig
Nisha Munzig, Grün­derin von HALLO­C­ROWD­FUN­DING und Start-up Coach im Gene­rator Startup Center der Hoch­schule der Medien

Two online lectures were initiated by the goHfG Grün­dungs­of­fen­sive at the Hoch­schule für Gestaltung.

Nisha Munzig kicked off the event with a presen­ta­tion on crowd­fun­ding. In her lecture, Ms. Munzig conveyed to the nearly 40 parti­ci­pa­ting students this type of project finan­cing, which pres­ents itself as a real alter­na­tive to the well-known finan­cing methods. There are now over 150 crowd­fun­ding plat­forms in Germany.

Nisha Munzig is a crowd­fun­ding enthu­siast and founder of HALLO­C­ROWD­FUN­DING. Ms. Munzig is the go-to person in southern Germany when it comes to crowd­fun­ding. With her company HALLO­C­ROWD­FUN­DING, she offers indi­vi­dual coaching as well as work­shops and lectures. She also works as a startup coach at the Gene­rator Startup Center at the Hoch­schule der Medien.

In crowd­fun­ding, the crowd decides whether a project will be realized, as the initia­tors of a project go directly to the public to convince and reach enough inte­rested parties as inves­tors for funding. For the students, Ms. Munzig had an expert tip for students who want to found their own start-up: By presen­ting the projects on the plat­form, this tool also offers itself as a market test for project ideas. The crowd provides direct feed­back that can be used as product impro­ve­ment. How a successful crowd­fun­ding campaign succeeds was shown by Nisha Munzig in her presen­ta­tion: Special atten­tion should be paid to commu­ni­ca­tion. An own network, multi­pliers, online and offline marke­ting are essen­tial, because crowd­fun­ding is not a self-runner“, the expert knows. Further­more, she advises a struc­tured prepa­ra­tion time. The success of a crowd­fun­ding campaign lies in good prepa­ra­tion,“ says Munzig.

Another tip from the crowd­fun­ding expert is to learn from other crowd­fun­ding projects, look at them or join one yourself. Tell your own story, that’s what makes you authentic and what builds trust“ Ms. Munzig encou­rages the students.

The second lecture dealt with property rights. Bernd Häußler heads the search center at the Baden-Würt­tem­berg Patent and Trade­mark Center in Stutt­gart and had a lot of sugges­tions, tips and tricks for students who see starting a busi­ness as an option.

At the Patent and Trade­mark Center there are many free offers: Infor­ma­tion, sear­ches, lectures and work­shops. Further­more, an initial consul­ta­tion on property rights is free of charge. At the begin­ning, a tele­phone call to the Patent and Trade­mark Center or a short legal consul­ta­tion with a patent attorney is suffi­cient“ Mr. Häußler reve­aled to the more than 45 parti­ci­pants. He further advises Start-ups should be able to deal with indus­trial property rights and ther­e­fore rese­arch in advance whether the design, trade­mark, busi­ness model, service concept or tech­no­logy already exists“, said Häußler. Further­more, they should know and be able to delineate the charac­te­ristics and diffe­rences and make a conscious decision pro or contra IP rights, because a patent is public and acces­sible to ever­yone, whereas secrecy is not,“ says the expert. Secrecy makes sense when the inven­tion is no longer reco­gnizable to a product.

Espe­ci­ally start-ups, should inform them­selves early on about protec­tion options, all the better if you do not need them at all. But even a presen­ta­tion, pitch, proto­ty­ping, etc., can pose a risk without the right precau­tions,“ Mr. Häußler encou­raged the students, adding to drop an appli­ca­tion for an IP right in the Patent and Trade­mark Center’s mailbox the night before the big pitch.

Using a tech­nical device as an example, Mr. Häußler had impres­si­vely and very vividly gone through all the IP rights and expressed the need to precisely define and describe features and charac­te­ristics of a product idea or to submit a detailed drawing. This biblio­gra­phic infor­ma­tion is laid down in the patent speci­fi­ca­tions. In prin­ciple, however, freedom of imita­tion applies in Germany and protec­tion is terri­to­ri­ally limited.

Both spea­kers had compiled a lot of tips and tricks from prac­tice for the students and repea­tedly included them in their presen­ta­tions, as well as having the appro­priate answers ready for the nume­rous questions.