What’s Your Secret Sauce?

By Esther Vargas

Creating a proprietary technology innovation is an impactful strategy that can help differentiate and scale your business.

If you are a startup or small business without proprietary technology, here are some steps towards identifying an idea for the creation of your own technology that can set you apart from your competitors:

  1. First, it’s essential to understand the unmet needs of your target market. By investing time to discover the challenges faced by your customers and potential customers, you can develop solutions that address those pain points. Conducting market research and engaging in meaningful learning conversations with customers will provide invaluable insights to guide you in the development of proprietary technology that truly resonates with the market.
  2. Creating technology requires an entrepreneurial mindset that embraces innovation. Foster a culture of continuous learning, experimentation, and risk-taking within your company. Such an environment encourages your team to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions.
  3. Before developing your technology, it’s important to test and validate the concept. You want to ensure that your technology idea actually meets the needs of your target market and is ready for development. By conducting thorough testing and validation, you gain valuable insights that help refine your idea and address any potential issues or challenges. Iterate on your concept as you gather feedback from potential users. This process allows you to make informed decisions and increases the likelihood of creating a technology solution that is valuable to your audience.
  4. Once you are ready to build your technology, you can leverage the assistance of developers, engineers, and designers to ensure that it is well-developed and reliable.
  5. It is also important to protect your intellectual property. For guidance on how to navigate the complex landscape of IP protection, consult with legal professionals that specialize in intellectual property law for assistance with patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, or other legal means.
  6. In addition to differentiating your business or service, your proprietary technology can also facilitate scalability. Once your technology is proven, you can explore additional ways to expand your market reach to amplify the impact of your technology and drive long term success. Consider forming strategic partnerships, licensing the technology to other businesses, or exploring mergers and acquisitions.

By embracing the challenge of creating your own proprietary technology, you can cook up your own secret sauce and leverage technology to make a significant impact in the world.

The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training, and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has provided vital business development resources resulting in over 300 local startup companies reaching their potential faster and graduating into the community where they continue to grow and positively impact the local economy.

With eight facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Kissimmee, Orlando, and Winter Springs. For the 2017/2018 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped to sustain more than 6,725 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of over $725 million on regional GDP and over $1.3 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned more than $12.00 in state and local taxes for every $1.00 invested in the program. In addition, for every $1.00 of public investment, the firms also produced $118 of additional regional GDP and $226 of regional sales. For more information, visit  www.incubator.ucf.edu.