Starting a private business, partnership, consultation, or a technological start-up is an excellent opportunity for retirees of large or small companies, retirees of the security forces, and anyone considering changing course after an employee position.
Women and men who held various positions as employees over the course of the years, have amassed considerable experience in the professional fields they worked in, together with organizational understanding, business acumen, conduct within the organization and outside of it, and decision-making processes.
Despite the apprehension that accompanies this sort of change, it is definitely worthwhile to consider and investigate the option of entrepreneurship which utilizes our experience and personal capabilities to build a business in our field of interest with the functional structure that’s right for us.
The process of investigating, sorting, and deliberating may begin during the period before retirement or directly thereafter and may take two or three months, in the event that it is carried out in a structured fashion, with or without external assistance.
A preliminary business plan directs us to take into account all the significant aspects needed to make decisions regarding the field and the business structure, and guides us to the proper procedure and considerations that will maximize our chances of success.
The business plan takes into account all the essential elements of the business, including: Uniqueness, competition, required investment, personnel, marketing and branding, development, operation, etc.
Generally, there is no entrepreneur who is proficient and qualified in all these aspects, but of course in every field there is expert assistance available that will allow us to develop the enterprise in the best way possible.
This article presents a number of crucial points for exploring the possibility of launching a technological start-up, even for managers without a technological, scientific, or engineering background, and without previous experience in the fields of hi-tech and entrepreneurship.
This is an invitation to examine entry, as an entrepreneur, into the field of technological innovation, start-up building, and fundraising, and alongside the potential business success, to contribute significantly to the community, to society, to medicine, and to the quality of life and to strengthen our status as “the start-up nation”.
Among the technological fields that are in high demand today for the creation of solutions for the various markets in Israel and around the world are:
Advanced materials, nanotechnology and miniaturization, air quality, water quality, and soil quality, solutions in the energy fields, food technologies, agro technology, green and clean industry, medications and medical devices, and Home Land Security.
The business initiative process begins with locating innovative technology that may be only in the early stage of an idea, or in a more advanced state where there is already a prototype or a patent application.
Sometimes it’s a matter of identifying a need in the marketplace that has no existing solution, and exploring technological or scientific bodies that could find a way to meet that need, but may not have been aware of the existence of the problem.
An entrepreneur who is exploring possibilities in the field will very quickly be exposed to quite a few innovative technologies and ideas that require in-depth investigation with the help of experts in the field who may later become business partners.
At this stage of testing the initiative, the main challenge is to find an investor and the capital necessary to develop the start-up.
Filling in the business plan in more detail is necessary, in order to clarify for the investor what the purpose of the investment is, the development timetable, and the future significant value in the event of success.
It should be noted that the initial investment is usually relatively modest and is the amount required to achieve technological practicability at the prototype level only.
This proof of concept will raise the value of the initiative considerably, so that additional fund raising will be undertaken under significantly preferable conditions for the participants of the initial round of fundraising.
The initial investment may be based on equity for the preliminary activation of the initiative – for the patent application, for creating very basic proof of concept, and for obtaining reviews by opinion leaders and experts in the field that indicate that there is indeed a good chance for the development of a technological solution of this type, and that the need in the marketplace is real.
It is noteworthy that initiatives of this type have a high probability of success and are relatively low-risk:
- Those considering a second career after the age of 45 have life experience, systems understanding, and usually experience in directing projects and making decisions.
- The ordered process of formulating the business plan facilitates consideration of the full range of scenarios and business aspects before a considerable sum has been invested in the initiative.
- It is possible to have the assistance of experts, consultants, and mentors throughout the preliminary process, so that the entrepreneur is not alone.
- When all the preliminary indicators show that it’s wise to get under way with a calculated risk – the investment will be made according to milestones and according to stages of progress.
- Business expenses along the way are partly transmutable to future options in the start-up company.
- A process of scanning technologies can be undertaken as preliminary step before we decide if entering this field is right for us at all, and usually, connecting with a specific technological solution provides the fuel and the passion for the entrepreneurial initiative.
- It’s advisable to clarify the estimated time it will take from the technological development stage up to the market launch and the sales stage, including limitations imposed by regulations in the field.
- In addition, one should assess the chances of applying for and obtaining a patent as the project progresses, which will help preserve the exclusivity of the technology and contribute considerably to the initiative’s value.
- It’s advisable to consult friends and experts only after the signing of a non-disclosure agreement, which is a legal document basic to the processes of investigating and establishing initiatives in the field of technological innovation.